AUSTIN — U.S. Rep. Will Hurd said Thursday he is considering a run for president in 2024.
The third-term Republican congressman from Helotes is leaving the House at the end of this term, and his retirement announcement sent shockwaves throughout national politics.
In an interview Thursday with The Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith, Hurd addressed a slew of issues, including background checks and redistricting.
“If they’re still not being addressed in a macro way, if I’m still the only person that’s still talking about these things, if I’m put in a position in order to evaluate that, then I will do what I have always done when I’ve had the opportunity to serve my country,” he said when asked if he’s considering a run for the presidency. “I will think about it.”
Hurd, an African-American former CIA officer, could offer the Republican Party a sharp change from the Trump era. He arrived in Austin from Washington, where he left behind a political explosion.
Earlier Thursday, the White House released a whistleblower complaint that charged President Donald Trump with pressuring Ukrainian leadership to investigate unfounded charges against the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential 2020 opponent for Trump. As a result of the allegations, Democrats are pushing forward with an impeachment inquiry into Trump.
“I think that’s a premature conversation to have. That’s why you have investigations,” he said. “Everything in this document are allegations, and we should make sure we’re doing everything to confirm those allegations.”
He compared the coverage of the impeachment saga in recent days to vote-the-contestants-off episodes of “Survivor” and to Trump’s former reality show, “The Apprentice.”
During his time in Congress, Hurd has proved to be a prolific fundraiser and was able to lock down the 23rd Congressional District, a seat that regularly flipped between the two parties.
“Everybody keeps saying I’m retiring,” Hurd said. “I’m 42. I’m just getting started.”
Hurd also discussed the state of politics back home.
Despite his retirement, Hurd insisted he would have won a fourth term in a rematch against Democratic candidate Gina Ortiz Jones.
“I would have won,” he said. “This would have been a four-peat.”
Repeatedly, he urged the Republican Party to court minorities, college-educated women and younger voters. The risk if it doesn’t, he said, was to put Texas at risk.
“Texas is a jump ball,” he said. “Texas is purple.”
As for the present, Hurd offered less than full-throated support for the president’s reelection.
“We’re also 14 months away from the election. So right now, yes, of course I’m going to support [Trump],” Hurd said of the president’s reelection.
When asked if there’s a chance Hurd may not support Trump as the 2020 nominee, he said, “I always keep my options open.”
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