WASHINGTON – Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, the lone Black Republican in the House of Representatives and a strong critic of President Donald Trump, announced Thursday evening that he will not seek reelection in 2020.
"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 on Twitter.
The Texas congressman is one of several Republicans who announced over the past couple of weeks that they are planning to retire.
In 2018, Hurd won a very slim victory. For several days, the race was too close to call. He eventually won, by less than 1,000 votes.
Although he didn't say if he was going to run for another political office in the future, Hurd said he will still stay involved in politics to "make sure the Republican Party looks like America."
"I’ve taken a conservative message to places that don’t often hear it," he wrote on Twitter. "I'm going to say involved in politics to help make sure the Republican Party looks like America."
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. https://t.co/GeZ4Hh264f— Rep. Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) August 2, 2019
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.— Rep. Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) August 2, 2019
Hurd noted that he plans to focus on "intelligence and national security matters," pointing to a number of issues facing the U.S. currently. Hurd was a former CIA officer.
"We're in a geopolitical competition with China. There is a global race to be the leader in artificial intelligence. We face cyberattacks every day. Extreme poverty, lack of economic opportunity and violence in Central America is placing unbearable pressure on our borders," he wrote.
"While Congress has a role in these issues, so does the private sector and civil society," he continued. "After reflecting on how best to help our country address these challenges, I’m leaving the House of Representatives to help our country in a different way."
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Hurd's district is on the U.S.-Mexico border, stretching from San Antonio to El Paso and he is the only Republican in Congress to represent a border district. The Texas congressman has repeatedly criticized Trump's plan for a wall along the southern border. In addition, Hurd was one of four Republicans to vote to condemn as racist Trump's tweets suggesting four Democratic congresswomen of color "go back" to their countries.
The four lawmakers, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, have called Trump a racist and pushed back against his comments.
All four of the congresswomen are U.S. citizens and three were born in the U.S. Omar immigrated to the United States from Somalia over 20 years ago and is a naturalized citizen.
Hurd on Thursday again criticized Trump's comments. However, he still vowed to vote for Trump if he is the Republican nominee in 2020.
“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,” Hurd told the Washington Post.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Will Hurd, lone Black House Republican, won't seek reelection in 2020