Aug 2, 2019

Will Hurd, the only black GOP representative, announces retirement

Hurd listens to testimony about 'deepfakes' on June 13, 2019. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) announced on Thursday that he will not seek reelection in his swing district.

Why it matters: Hurd is the only black Republican in the House, and the third Texas Republican to retire this week. He has been known to occasionally criticize President Trump, most recently over the president's racist tweets against 4 Democratic congresswomen of color, per the Washington Post.

  • Hurd's former district includes 820 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, making him the only GOP member of Congress to represent the southern border. He denounced Trump’s border wall proposition, describing it as a “third-century solution to a 21st-century problem,” according to the Post.

What's next: Hurd intends to move forward in his career to "solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security." He has been a longtime advocate of using technology to advance national security, including AI, quantum computing and cybersecurity.

  • Our thought bubble, per Axios' Joe Uchill: This leaves a gap in nuts and bolts tech understanding that the House already lacks.

His departure is the ninth by a Republican incumbent, heightening the stakes for the GOP to recapture control of the House in 2020.

Go deeper: Rep. Martha Roby won't seek re-election, as GOP faces dwindling number of women in the House

Go deeper

Rep. Kenny Marchant becomes 4th Texas Republican to announce retirement

Kenny Marchant during a House Ways and Means Committee meeting. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) announced Monday he will not seek re-election in 2020, becoming the fourth Texas Republican House member to announce retirement in recent weeks, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: Texas, which holds 38 electoral college votes, is increasingly becoming more competitive for Democrats in both presidential and congressional elections. Marchant won re-election in Texas' 24th district in November by just 3 points and is now the 12th House Republican retiring at the end of their term. Only 3 House Democrats have announced they aren't running in 2020.

Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019

Rep. John Shimkus marks 14th GOP lawmaker to retire this year

Rep. John Shimkus at a committee hearing on April 2, 2019 Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), ranking member of the environment and climate change subcommittee, announced on Friday that he will retire and not seek re-election, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: He is the 14th GOP lawmaker to announce a resignation, retirement or change of office this year, per the Post. His seat is likely to remain Republican.

Go deeperArrowAug 30, 2019

Trump plans to fast-track border wall construction ahead of 2020 election

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump is determined to speed up construction on the southern border wall to deliver on his 2016 campaign promise ahead of the 2020 election, reports the Washington Post.

The state of play: Trump has "directed aides to fast-track billions of dollars' worth of construction contracts, aggressively seize private land and disregard environmental rules," current and former administration officials told the Post. The president has previously promised to complete 500 miles of fence before the election, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has only completed 60 miles of "replacement" barrier so far.

Go deeperArrowAug 28, 2019