Only Black Republican Congressman Announces Abrupt Retirement


We’re still more than a year out from the 2020 elections, but Congressional Republicans are already making their intentions to ditch the process known. Now, there’s a third Republican Texas Congressman and eighth Congressional Republican overall who has announced their retirement ahead of the 2020 elections. This time, it’s Rep. Will Hurd, who at present and until at least early 2021 is the only black Republican in Congress. He represents a district right on the U.S. border with Mexico, stretching from the El Paso to the San Antonio areas, and Democrats have their sights set on picking up his seat now that he’s announced his retirement.

The Democrats were already in a prime position to take the seat. In 2016, most votes in the majority Latino district went to Hillary Clinton and in 2018, Hurd beat Democratic challenger Gina Ortiz Jones by less than 1,000 votes in an election that in total, saw over 200,000 votes cast. Ortiz Jones is running again and has already been out-fundraising Hurd — although he didn’t apparently mention his grim political prospects in explaining his decision to not seek re-election. Instead, the former undercover officer for the CIA shared:

‘After reflecting on how best to help our country address these challenges, I have made the decision to not seek reelection… in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security… Folks in these communities believe in order to solve problems we should empower people not the government, help families move up the economic ladder through free markets not socialism and achieve and maintain peace by being nice with nice guys and tough with tough guys.’

He’s cast himself as a sort of guardian of true conservatism or something through other means too. Hurd was one of the only four House Republicans to vote in favor of condemning President Donald Trump telling progressive women of color to “go back where they came from” as racist. One of the other ones, notably enough, has also announced their retirement — Indiana’s Susan Brooks, whose district is seen as competitive, will be leaving office at the end of her present term.

Besides these two, the other Texas Republicans to announce retirement include Reps. Mike Conaway and Pete Olson.

Conaway made a name for himself recently through helping steer the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in U.S. elections after then-committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stepped aside. That wasn’t enough to attach him to staying in Congress, though — not that the probe became much more than a partisan food fight anyway.

Colorado Republican Mike Coffman, who lost his seat in 2018 in the Democratic surge that saw them take some 40 previously GOP ones, offered some insight into the challenges sparking these retirements. He remarked after his loss:

‘Donald Trump is about Donald Trump, and what Donald Trump is, is he wants to be the center of attention every single day. He wants to dominate the news cycle every single day, and good luck trying to get a message out of that.’

Featured Image via screenshot