In the 2018 midterm elections, a lot of moderate Republicans lost their districts to Democratic challengers. Some prevailed from their elections, like Representative Will Hurd.

Before running for office, Hurd attended Texas A&M University and worked at the CIA as an undercover officer. He was initially elected to Congress in 2014 and represents a congressional district in Texas along the U.S.-Mexican border. Since his first inauguration, he has proved himself a leader on technological issues like cyber-security in the House of Representatives.

Hurd is a fairly moderate Republican. 2018 proved to be an election year that seemed to expel most of his ideological colleagues like Mia Love (R-UT), Barbara Comstock (R-VA) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), yet he won his race albeit by a razor-thin margin. 

Like those Republicans, Hurd has publicly disagreed with the president on issues like the wall on the southern border and the travel ban executive order. The government shutdown this past winter put Hurd in the middle of his Republican colleagues and his constituents as the border wall would directly affect the district he serves. In fact, he ultimately agreed to vote for bills that would reopen portions of the government. Hurd’s position requires him to put his constituents before his party. 

In a recent piece published by the Wall Street Journal, Hurd explained how he won his third election as an African American Republican in a district that is demographically seventy percent Latino. In 2016, his district went to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton by a margin of 3.5 percent. The 2018 midterms were interesting in Texas as Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke popularly challenged incumbent Ted Cruz. Although O’Rourke lost, he seemed to prove that once solidly-red Texas was turning a little purple. 

Hurd’s campaign strategy had to be reactive to this phenomenon in his own state. As both an elected official and a candidate, Hurd makes himself visible; he shows up to events and listens to his constituents. For Hurd, campaign years are important but really, all years are important. This means he is constantly traveling to meet and speak with constituents. These tips may seem simple, and frankly obvious, but Hurd found that if he consistently shows up to events in his district, he doesn’t find himself ambushed by concerns on the campaign trail with which he was unfamiliar. He already knows his constituents inside and out.

Perhaps there is a lesson in Representative Hurd’s methods for Republicans going into the 2020 congressional elections. It’s not that every year needs to be treated like an election year. That would imply that politics is just about winning the race. It’s that every constituent needs to be treated as though his or her concerns are valid, heard and addressed no matter what the date is. Politicians, regardless of party or district make-up, cannot only engage with the people they serve every two years. Representative Hurd proves that politics truly is about the Americans that politicians serve, not the label that comes after an official’s name.

On August 1st, 2019, Rep. Will Hurd announced he would not be seeking re-election in 2020. This is a huge loss for the Republican Party. He plans to stay involved in politics and wants to make sure the GOP looks like America.

Karly M.
Karly Matthews is a student at Temple University, where she is majoring in political science and journalism while minoring in Spanish. At any given moment, Karly can be found talking about Marco Rubio and advocating for conservative values with a large coffee mug and color-coded planner in hand.

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