Will Hurd, a former congressman from Texas who was part of a dwindling bloc of moderate House Republicans and was the only black member of his caucus when he left office in 2021, announced his candidacy for president Thursday with a video message who attacked the GOP leader, Donald J. Trump.
“If we name a lawless, selfish, failed politician like Donald Trump, who lost the House, the Senate and the White House, we all know Joe Biden is going to win again,” he said, referring to Republican midterm losses in 2018 and 2022. elections, as well as Trump’s defeat in 2020.
Mr. Hurd, 45, represented the 23rd District for three terms before deciding not to run for re-election in 2020 when a host of GOP moderates in Congress chose to retire instead of appearing on a ticket headed by the president Trump.
His district was larger than some states and stretched from El Paso to San Antonio along the southwestern border.
Mr. Hurd, who also made an appearance in « CBS Mornings”, he stressed in his video that Republicans needed to nominate a forward-thinking candidate who could unite the party and the country.
« I will give us the common-sense leadership America so desperately needs, » he said.
A formidable glove awaits Mr. Hurd, a long-term candidate in a crowded GOP presidential field. To qualify for the party’s first debate in August, candidates must garner support of at least 1 percent in multiple national polls recognized by the Republican National Committee. There are also fundraising thresholds, including a minimum of 40,000 unique donors for individual campaigns.
Before entering politics, Mr. Hurd was an undercover CIA officer, and his nearly decade-long tenure with the agency included work in Afghanistan.
In Congress, he developed a reputation for working across the aisle and garnered attention in 2017 when he carpooled from Texas to Washington with Beto O’Rourkea fellow Democrat and in the House.
While Mr. Hurd has largely aligned himself with the Republican line, he was also known for opposing Mr. Trump. During his last term in the House, Hurd voted against Trump’s positions more than a third of the time.
Mr. Hurd has been a particularly harsh critic of the president’s push to build a wall along the entire southern border, a cause célèbre for Mr. Trump he ran in 2016. In a 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, Mr. Hurd called Mr. Trump’s border wall initiative a « third century solution to a 21st century problem ».
It wasn’t the first time Mr. Hurd had spoken so bluntly in opposition to a piece of Mr. Trump’s agenda.
When Mr. Trump signed an executive order in January 2017 barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, one of the first acts of his presidency, Mr. Hurd he condemned himstating that the policy « endangers the lives of thousands of American men and women in our military, diplomatic and intelligence services. »
And when Trump attacked four black Democratic freshmen in 2019, Hurd denounced the president and criticized the leadership of the Republican Party.
« The party isn’t growing in some of the larger parts of our country, » he said in a June 2019 speech to Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative LGBTQ group. « Why? I’ll tell you. »
« Don’t be a racist, » continued Mr Hurd, second Washington’s blade. “Don’t be a misogynist, right? Don’t be homophobic. These are real basic things that we all should have learned when we were in kindergarten.
But while Mr. Hurd has broken with Mr. Trump on a few notable occasions, he also dismayed Mr. Trump’s critics when he voted hand-in-hand with House Republicans against Mr. Trump’s impeachment the first time in December 2019 Mr. Trump was impeached in a House party vote for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, but acquitted by the Senate.