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Young people interested in public office should "go out and have a career" before they enter politics, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) said at an Axios virtual event on "Gen Z and the future of politics" on Tuesday.

What they're saying: "The reason I've been able to be effective is that I've had a decade in national security, cyber security. So, I was able to take that experience and bring it to Congress, and that's why a lot of my legislation that I've passed has been on national security," Hurd told Axios' Margaret Talev.

  • "I've been able to be even more effective in a shorter period of time than most — and by the way, my legislative record is better than a lot of people that served for 30 years."
  • "It's because I had an expertise and I brought that to Congress," Hurd added.

The big picture: Hurd is a former CIA officer who announced in 2019 that he will not seek re-election, saying he intends to move forward in his career to "solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security" in the private sector. Some have speculated that he could be a 2024 Republican presidential candidate.

  • Hurd, the only black Republican in the House, said he's not worried about the future of the U.S. because he has seen "young kids that care more about things."
  • "When I was in high school, I was more interested just playing basketball, just running the streets with my buddies. But some of the kids I met are trying to have an impact on their community right now while they're in school, so that's exciting to me."

What to watch: Hurd, a moderate Republican who has at times been critical of President Trump, would not say who he will vote for in November, saying he's "disappointed in both choices." He stressed that he wants to "make sure we have two strong parties" that can work together to solve the country's problems.

Go deeper

Always Trumpers: The president’s unbreakable wall

Data: Axios research and FiveThirtyEight's Trump Score. See our methodology here. Note(*): Senator Mitt Romney did not join Congress until January 2019. However, statements he made as a prominent GOP figure prior to his time in office were taken into consideration. Chart: Naema Ahmed, Sara Wise, Juliet Bartz, Orion Rummler/Axios

More than 85% of elected Republicans who have been in Congress throughout President Trump’s term have largely stood by him through seven crises that would have crushed most politicians, according to a comprehensive new study by "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: The data shows how Trump’s grip on the Republican Party has tightened — especially in the last two years — as his dissenters have largely piped down, been tossed out, or currently face the threat of losing re-election.

Philanthropy Deep Dive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A look at how philanthropy is evolving (and why Dolly Parton deserves a Medal of Freedom).

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.