WASHINGTON — Texas saw a changing of the guard among its Congressional delegation this November. Seven House Republicans chose not to seek re-election, including Rep. Will Hurd of the state's 23rd Congressional District. He represents what is considered Texas’ swing district, which stretches from his hometown of San Antonio to El Paso.
Hurd said he still believes there is more that unites us as a country than divides us.
“Of course, you know, the environment, the people are different, but they believe and they want the same things, and that's what I learned in my time of criss crossing the 29 counties, two time zones of the 23rd,” Hurd said.
His six years included major partisan divides in the House, including the impeachment of President Donald Trump. The former CIA officer had a front-row seat to the process as a member of the intelligence committee. He voted against impeachment, but he has been critical of Trump. As the only Black Republican in the House, Hurd said he has done everything he can to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“Nobody thought a Black Republican could win a 71% Latino district. How did I win? I won because I showed up. I showed up and showed that I cared and tried to solve problems,” Hurd said.
Hurd believes the country is safer now than it was six years ago, something he said he was most proud of in regards to his tenure in Congress.
“My goal was to be a leader on national security, and the gold standard in constituent relations, and the number of constituents who've had a problem with the federal government that we were able to solve is something that I'm gonna be proud of. It's those individual stories that I'm going to remember,” Hurd said.
During his tenure, Hurd had 17 bills signed into law.
“That's everything from increasing the pay of our border patrol agents, you know, they're our most important resource when it comes to border security, and they weren't getting compensated for their level of effort. That was the first bill I got done,” he said.
Another bill modernized government technology. Hurd also supported the use of new technology for border security. The 23rd district includes 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.
“When it comes to the border, every mile of the border is different from every other mile. So let's make sure we're using the right mix of tools and resources to secure that individual border,” Hurd said.
Hurd who is 43 years old may be retiring from Congress, but he will continue working and he said he will continue to serve the country in other ways. He said San Antonio will always be home.
“My goal is to stay involved with that intersection of technology, national security and public policy,” he said.
Earlier in December, the three-term Congressman made his final floor speech at the House and shared a final message for his colleagues.
“Don't treat bipartisanship like a four-letter word. The only way big things have ever been done in this country is by doing them together,” he said.