One Republican consultant told 'The Hill' that 'Texas is the new California,' following Thursday's surprise announcement that San Antonio Congressman Will Hurd, the only Black Republican in the U.S. House, will not seek re-election, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
California, the home of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, was solidly Republican for much of the Twentieth Century. But then several missteps by Republicans, mainly maintaining an unpopular hard line on immigration, helped flip the Golden State to the Democrat powerhouse that it is today. Could Texas be next?
Several political publications have switched the 2020 outlook for the competitive 23rd District from 'tossup' yesterday to 'leans Democrat' today, following Hurd's announcement.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is sensing blood in the water.
"As the DCCC’s aggressive on-the-ground investment in the Lone Star State continues to shake their political landscape, Republicans across Texas are freaking out" the DCCC said. "And can you blame them? The only thing sticking around guarantees these Texas Republicans is another opportunity to explain their deeply unpopular position on health care repeal that would end protections for people with pre-existing conditions and raise costs for Texas families."
Hurd, who is the only Republican Congressman to represent a district on the Texas-Mexico border, said in a tweet announcing his retirement, that he is 'pleased to have taken a conservative message to places that don't often hear it,' and added that 'I am going to stay involved in politics to help make sure the Republican Party looks more like America.'
Hurd has been one of the few, and in some cases the only, Republican in Congress who has bucked President Trump on key issues. Hurd voted in favor of a resolution last month condemning the President for his controversial tweets attacking four progressive Congresswomen, the only Republican to do so.
The newsletter 'Inside Elections' predicts that the Democrats will now easily flip the 23rd district.
“The demographics of the district also favor Democrats. Less than a quarter of the district is non-Hispanic white, and 40 percent of the non-Hispanic white population has a bachelor’s degree or higher," the publication wrote.
The Cook Political Report calls the Hurd move the start of a 'Texodous' by Republicans.