Black Republican Exiting House Says He Wants a GOP More Like Him
(Bloomberg) -- Texas Representative Will Hurd, the House’s lone black Republican who has announced he won’t seek re-election next year, said he wants instead to help candidates who resemble him reach office.
Hurd, who has broken with President Donald Trump on some issues and whose Texas district backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that his decision not to run again wasn’t based on whether the president would hurt his chances of keeping his seat.
“I want to see a Republican Party that has more folks that look and sound and operate like I do,” Hurd said, citing as “phenomenal” a black U.S. Army veteran, Wesley Hunt, who is running for Congress in Houston as a Republican.
Earlier in July, Hurd was one of four Republicans who voted to condemn some of Trump’s comments about four female minority freshmen lawmakers as racist. He has also broken with Trump on border issues. Hurd’s heavily Latino swing district stretches across hundreds of miles of the U.S. border with Mexico.
Hurd, a former undercover Central Intelligence Agency officer, won re-election by fewer than 1,000 votes in 2018. The GOP is seeking to regain the House majority through a net gain of 18 seats but has seen a half-dozen retirements in recent weeks.
“I’m going to be leaving the halls of Congress to help our country in a different way,” Hurd said on CBS. “I’m excited about the next couple of months because we still have a lot of work to do in Congress but I’m also looking forward to building a Republican Party of the future.”
Several people had asked Hurd if he wouldn’t be better positioned to support candidates from an elected office, he said.
“Everybody thinks the end-all or be-all is actually being in Congress,” Hurd said. “The party is defined by the people that are in it, not necessarily the politicians.”
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