Former Texas Rep. loses comeback bid

Greg Nash

Former Rep. Quico Canseco (R-Texas) has fallen short in his comeback bid, losing his primary to former CIA agent Will Hurd (R).

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The Associated Press has called the race for Hurd, who led Canseco by 59 percent to 41 percent with 57 percent of precincts reporting.

Canseco won his heavily Hispanic swing district in 2010 before losing to freshman Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Texas) in 2012.

He began the primary as the favorite, both because of his name recognition and Hispanic surname in the heavily Hispanic district, but struggled with fundraising and trailed Hurd by a slight margin in the first round of voting. He also faced recent questions about whether he broke campaign finance law in his 2010 campaign.

Republicans are hopeful they can take out Gallego this fall in Texas's only competitive House district, which Mitt Romney carried by three percentage points two years ago. But they privately admit it would have been preferable to have a Hispanic candidate to face Gallego.

"Congratulations to Will Hurd on his victory this evening. It's clear that the families of the 23rd District are disappointed in the lack of leadership from Congressman Pete Gallego and that they are ready to send a real representative who shares their values to Washington," said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.).

Democrats came out firing on Hurd.

"While Pete is tirelessly working hard for the district, Will Hurd shows up in this district only when he wants to run for Congress and then opposes a pathway to citizenship for immigrants and their children," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). "Now Hurd is limping out of an expensive, drawn out and divisive primary — and Republicans are stuck with a candidate who has shown time and again that he’s only in this race for himself, not the people of West Texas."

This post was last updated at 10:40 p.m.