Will Hurd Retiring: Why Is He Leaving Congress?

Representative Will Hurd participates in a Congressional hearing.

Getty Representative Will Hurd participates in a Congressional hearing.

Will Hurd represented Texas’ 23rd district for five years before announcing his retirement in 2019. This moderate member of the party established himself as a voice for younger generations of Republicans. While some leaned to extremely conservative views, Hurd took a different tone on key issues like LGBTQ rights. When his decision was announced, it left many fellow politicians and voters from his home district puzzled about the reasons why. There is not one answer, but several that appear to be a part of his reasoning.

Hurd Denies Issues With Trump Led to Retirement

Among GOP members. Hurd has openly disagreed with some comments, policies, and actions that have occurred in the Trump administration. By no means a complete break from his party, the representative’s stance to speak publicly on any dissenting views have put him in contrast with other conservative officials.

In a New York Times Op-Ed, Hurd was quick to address the looming questions at the time between Trump and Putin. “The president’s failure to defend the United States intelligence community’s unanimous conclusions of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and condemn Russian covert counterinfluence campaigns and his standing idle on the world stage while a Russian dictator spouted lies confused many but should concern all Americans,” the representative wrote.

Still, it has been a suggestion that Hurd himself stayed away from. “I have not felt that way,” the representative told the Los Angeles Times when asked about Trump being a cause of his retirement, “I agree when I agree and I disagree when I disagree,” he said.

He Doesn’t Rule Out a Presidential Run

Like many politicians, retirement doesn’t always mean a renouncement of politics. Some pundits have speculated that Hurd could be preparing for a presidential run at some point. Even though he is unlikely to launch a third party bid in 2020, his name could show up in 2024. That elections would see the Republicans either fielding the successor to Trump or the challenger to a Democrat led administration.

Hurd didn’t shy away from a potential presidential run at some point. In an interview the Texas Tribune, the retiring representative spoke to the possible run. “If they’re still not being addressed in a macro way, if I’m still the only person that’s still talking about these things, if I’m put in a position in order to evaluate that, then I will do what I have always done when I’ve had the opportunity to serve my country,” Hurd told Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith.

Racism Along With a Lack of Diversity Troubled Hurd

The aspects of racial disparity and lack of diverse membership in the GOP has openly troubled the Texas lawmaker. What seems to be the most troubling aspect for Hurd is the prospect of racist sentiments by someone representing Republicans. Once again, he clashed with Trump as the comments made as well as challenging others who might use the same language. “When you imply that because someone doesn’t look like you, in telling them to go back to Africa or wherever you’re implying that they’re not an American, and you’re implying that they have less worth than you,” the lawmaker said.

Diversity in the GOP as well as the subject of racism in America led Hurd to back the Future Leaders Fund. “America is becoming more diverse, while the Republican Party is becoming less popular with minority voters,” he said during the inaugural video. “If the Republican Party doesn’t start looking like America and resonating with all Americans, then there won’t be a Republican Party in America,” the representative continued. The Super PAC seeks to help a diverse group of candidates participate in races around the country. Tony Gonzales appeared to be the first candidate to get its endorsement. The veteran is one of many possible candidates hoping to win Hurd’s seat during the next election.


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