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Ahead of the November midterm elections, the Rivard Report invited invested parties to provide commentaries and share their points of view with voters. All commentaries are presented in original form with basic editing and fact-checking.
The final head-to-head in our exclusive election commentary series is one of the most hotly contested races in the state. Republican Will Hurd is attempting to hold onto the seat in Texas’ 23rd Congressional District against surging challenger Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones. Unlike most congressional districts in Texas that have a distinct red or blue shade, this district, which stretches from San Antonio to El Paso, could go either way.
In the 2016 election, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the majority, but the district also re-elected Hurd to become the first two-term congressman for the district in eight years. Hurd also won in 2014, and both races were close with his Democratic challenger.
Hurd, a former undercover officer in the CIA, is one of the more moderate Republicans seeking Texas office and has spent a lot of time distancing himself from President Donald Trump on matters of immigration, including building a wall on the southern border and DACA.
However, Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, has used Hurd’s voting record against him, stating he sided more with the president than against him and pointing out the eight times Hurd voted to undo the Affordable Care Act before voting against repeal-and-replace last year. Trump is not a popular figure in CD 23 where the population is 70 percent Hispanic and the terrain covers hundreds of miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Click on the banners below to read Hurd and Ortiz Jones’ arguments for why they should be District 23’s next representative in Congress.
For the previous commentaries in this exclusive elections series, click here.