U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) announced he would not seek re-election, becoming the third Republican member of Congress from Texas to do so.
“I have made the decision to not seek re-election for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security,” Hurd said in a statement. “It was never my intention to stay in Congress forever, but I will stay involved in politics to grow a Republican Party that looks like America.”
CD23 was 4 points bluer than the state as a whole in 2018, and the average statewide Democrat received just over 50% of the vote measured head-to-head against the Republican candidate. Hillary Clinton won the district over Donald Trump, and Beto O’Rourke carried it over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R), 52%-47%. Hurd slightly over-performed the Republican ticket and was narrowly re-elected, 49.2%-48.7%, over Democratic nominee Gina Ortiz Jones, who is running again in 2020. Hurd has not received at least 50% of the vote in any of his three general election victories.
Hurd is the lone African-American Republican serving in the U.S. House. “Two centuries ago, I would have been counted as three-fifths of a person, and today I can say I’ve had the honor of serving three terms in Congress,” Hurd said. “I will keep fighting to remind people why I love America: that we are neither Republican nor Democrat nor Independent. We are better than the sum of our parts.”
San Antonio retired Navy cryptologist Tony Gonzales II, who is currently running against U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) in CD35, tweeted that he will “prayerfully consider” running for CD23 instead. Two other Republicans are already in the race: Concan dentist Alma Arredondo-Lynch, who received 20% of the vote against Hurd in the 2018 Republican primary, and Castroville resident Paul Reyes Jr. At least four Democrats are already in the race.
SC6 open: Dallas attorney Larry Praeger reauthorized his campaign committee for a potential run for the seat being vacated by Justice Jeff Brown (R) as a Democrat. Brown was confirmed as a federal judge by the U.S. Senate yesterday (Wednesday). Praeger unsuccessfully ran for the P12 seat on the Fifth Court of Appeals in 2010 and 2012, losing both times to incumbent Justice Bob Fillmore (R), 58%-42% and 53%-47%, respectively. In 2014, Praeger finished fifth in a five-way Democratic primary for JD301 (4%).
HD28: Rep. John Zerwas (R-Richmond) has been appointed Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs for the Univ. of Texas System effective October 1. Yesterday (Wednesday), Zerwas announced he was resigning from the Legislature effective September 30.
HD94: Arlington business developer Billy Skiles established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington), likely as a Democrat.
CD11 open: Midland council member Ross Lacy is expected to make an announcement next week as to whether he will seek the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Midland).
CD16: El Paso real estate agent Irene Armendariz-Jackson established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-El Paso) as a Republican.
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