Today, Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones announced she would once again challenge sitting Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX-23) in 2020.
Jones was quick to question Hurd’s commitment to his constituency, as a statement from her campaign read, “Gina is running to challenge incumbent Representative Will Hurd, who is out of touch with Texas families after years spent prioritizing his political career in D.C. over the interests of his constituents.”
This announcement from Jones was expected, as the district proved to be highly contentious in 2018. Though over two hundred thousand people cast their ballots, Jones came within just 926 votes of Hurd, making the 23rd Congressional District arguably the most competitive in the state.
In 2016, Hurd’s district was one of 25 Republican-held congressional districts across the United States that were won by Hillary Clinton. One of the largest districts in the nation with approximately 58,058 square miles of land, the district stretches from San Antonio to El Paso and boasts over 800 miles of the U.S. Mexico border.
In 2018, Hurd raised over $3 million and spent over $5 million. Hurd is the only Republican member of Texas’ congressional delegation to hold a seat along the border and has consistently found himself opposite President Donald Trump on some border security issues.
Hurd notably sided with Democrats in January and was a proponent of ending the government shutdown without the promise of funding for the President’s border wall.
As of March 31, he reported having $30,146.42 cash on hand.
Comparatively, Jones raised and spent over $6 million last cycle, After her close loss in November, Jones notoriously refused to concede for two weeks following the election and even traveled to Washington on an invitation from the Committee on House Administration to be present on the Hill during freshmen orientation.
As of March 31, she had $76,690.89 in the bank.
Hurd, a former undercover CIA officer, served in the agency for over a decade and has consistently highlighted national security as an area of expertise. He serves on the House Appropriations Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Jones boasts an impressive resume as well, having graduated from Boston University on a four-year R.O.T.C. scholarship before being commissioned as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force. She then served as the Director for Investment at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under President Obama.
Hurd and Jones are expected to continue to go toe-to-toe on national security and border issues during their second campaign match-up.
Texas’ 23rd District is one of the six congressional districts the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has explicitly targeted in Texas for the next election cycle, including the districts held by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21), Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX-22), Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24), and Rep. John Carter (R-TX-31).
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McKenzie Taylor serves as Senior Editor and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.