Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd announced Thursday that he would not seek re-election in 2020, leaving a competitive district on the southern border even more up in the air for the next election.
Hurd is the only black Republican in the House of Representatives, and has been a somewhat regular critic of President Donald Trump and an opponent of the proposed border wall.
The congressman and former CIA officer said in his announcement that he feels he can have a more significant impact on the issues that matter from the private sector.
“I have made the decision to not seek reelection 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 wrote. “I left a job I loved as an undercover officer in the CIA to meet what I believed to be a need for new leadership in Congress on intelligence and national security matters. I wanted to help the Intelligence Community in a different way.”
Hurd represents Texas’s 23rd Congressional District, which encompasses more than 58,000 square miles and includes one-third of the U.S.-Mexico border.
The district is considered a battleground district, which Trump lost in 2016 and Hurd won by 1 percent in 2016 and 0.5 percent in 2018.
Hurd now becomes the sixth Republican representative to announce his retirement in the last two weeks, creating a challenge for a Republican Party trying to regain the House majority in 2020.
Although he is leaving politics, Hurd said he still hopes to assist the Republican Party in the future.
“When I took the oath of office after joining the CIA, I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all its enemies. I took the same oath on my first day in Congress. This oath doesn’t have a statute of limitations,” Hurd said. “I’ve taken a conservative message to places that don’t often hear it. I’m going to say involved in politics to help make sure the Republican Party looks like America.”