Will Hurd, a former Texas congressman who was a part of a diminishing bloc of Republican moderates within the Home and was the only Black member of his caucus when he left workplace in 2021, introduced his candidacy for president on Thursday.
Mr. Hurd, 45, represented the twenty third District for 3 phrases earlier than deciding to not run for re-election in 2020, when a number of G.O.P. moderates in Congress chose to retire as a substitute of showing on a ticket led by President Donald J. Trump.
His district was bigger than some states, extending from El Paso to San Antonio alongside the southwestern border.
A formidable gantlet awaits Mr. Hurd, a long-shot candidate in a crowded G.O.P. presidential area led by Mr. Trump. To qualify for the celebration’s first debate in August, candidates are required to muster support of at least 1 percent in multiple national polls acknowledged by the Republican Nationwide Committee. There are additionally fund-raising thresholds, together with a minimal of 40,000 distinctive donors to particular person campaigns.
Earlier than coming into politics, Mr. Hurd was an undercover officer for the C.I.A. and his tenure of practically a decade with the company included work in Afghanistan.
In Congress, he developed a status for working throughout the aisle and drew consideration in 2017 when he car-pooled from Texas to Washington with Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat and Home colleague.
Whereas Mr. Hurd largely toed the Republican line, he was additionally identified for bucking Mr. Trump. Throughout his last time period within the Home, Mr. Hurd voted greater than one-third of the time towards Mr. Trump’s positions.
Mr. Hurd was a very strident critic of the president’s push to construct a wall alongside the complete southern border, a trigger célèbre for Mr. Trump that he ran on in 2016. In a 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, Mr. Hurd referred to as Mr. Trump’s border wall initiative a “third-century solution to a 21st-century problem.”
It was not the primary time that Mr. Hurd had spoken so bluntly in opposition to a chunk of Mr. Trump’s agenda.
When Mr. Trump signed an govt order in January 2017 blocking citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, one of many first acts of his presidency, Mr. Hurd condemned it, saying the coverage “endangers the lives of hundreds of American women and men in our navy, diplomatic corps and intelligence companies.”
And when Mr. Trump attacked 4 freshman Democratic congresswomen of colour in 2019, Mr. Hurd denounced the president and criticized the path of the Republican Celebration.
“The celebration isn’t rising in among the largest components of our nation,” he stated in a June 2019 speech to the Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative L.G.B.T.Q. group. “Why is that? I’ll inform you.”
“Don’t be a racist,” Mr. Hurd continued, based on The Washington Blade. “Don’t be a misogynist, proper? Don’t be a homophobe. These are actual staple items that all of us ought to study after we have been in kindergarten.”
However whereas Mr. Hurd broke with Mr. Trump on some notable events, he additionally dismayed Mr. Trump’s critics when he voted in lock step with House Republicans towards impeaching Mr. Trump the primary time in December 2019. Mr. Trump was impeached in a party-line vote by the Home for abuse of energy and obstruction of Congress, however acquitted by the Senate.