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Cook Political Report moves TX-23 from Toss Up to Lean Democratic after Hurd retirement

Cook Political Report moves TX-23 from Toss Up to Lean Democratic after Hurd retirement
© Stefani Reynolds

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, changed its rating for the House race for Texas’s 23rd Congressional District from “Toss Up” to “Lean Democratic” after Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel Pence autobiography coming from Simon & Schuster Prince Harry joins Aspen Institute commission on misinformation MORE (R) announced he would not seek reelection in 2020.

Hurd’s announcement marked a boost to Democrats who hope to flip the border district, which Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMore than half of eligible Latinos voted in 2020, setting record Fox News signs Trey Gowdy, Dan Bongino for new shows The Memo: GOP attacks bounce off Biden MORE won in 2016 and Hurd held on to by half a point in last year’s midterm race.

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“Hurd is probably the only Republican capable of holding Texas's massive 23rd District, which stretches from the San Antonio suburbs to El Paso and takes in more of the Mexico border than any other district. A former CIA operative, Hurd developed a reputation as an indefatigable retail campaigner who isn't afraid to shred President TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE, particularly on Russia and the proposed border wall,” Cook’s David Wasserman wrote.

“Republicans will be hard-pressed to find a candidate who can replicate Hurd's appeal,” he wrote.

Hurd said he is leaving office at the end of his term to “pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security.”

Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones, who narrowly lost her race to unseat Hurd last year and is running again in 2020, praised the incumbent’s service and said she is ready to take the reins of the district.

“After years of serving our country, first in the CIA and then in Congress, I respect Congressman Hurd’s decision to serve in a new capacity. From San Antonio to Socorro and everywhere in between, Texans are ready for new leadership in Washington and I’m ready to serve,” she tweeted.

But the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has expressed confidence that the GOP will hold on to the seat. 

“Contrary to what pundits will tell you, this is an R+1 district and we will fight tooth and nail to ensure it remains in Republican hands in 2020,” NRCC Chairman Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerDemocrats confront difficult prospects for midterms House GOP campaign arm adds to target list Minnesota takes joy in beating New York for last House seat MORE (R-Minn.) said in a statement.