Democrats say battle with Trump may help Biden
Democrat running for Will Hurd's seat raises over $1 million in first 100 days of campaign
Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones's campaign said she raised more than $1 million in the first 98 days of her 2020 bid to represent Texas' 23rd Congressional District.
Jones, an Iraq war veteran who unsuccessfully ran to unseat Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) in the 2018 election, announced the fundraising haul on Tuesday, weeks after Hurd announced he would not seek reelection.
"I'm honored by the groundswell of support we've received and together we're building a grassroots campaign to stand up to corporate special interests and bring commonsense priorities like quality, affordable health care and lower prescription drug costs to Washington, D.C.," Jones said in a statement. "As the daughter of a single mom and a first-generation American, I firmly believe its' time for hardworking Texas families to have a seat at the table in Congress and that's who I'll always serve."
Hurd narrowly fended off a challenge from Jones during last November's midterm elections. The race remained too close to call for two weeks and vote counts showed Hurd leading by fewer than 1,200 votes when Jones decided to end her bid.
Jones told supporters after her loss that she was "very likely" to run again, and made it official the following May.
"I've never been one to back down because the promise of our country is worth fighting for," she said in her campaign launch.
Hurd, the only African American House Republican, abruptly announced earlier this month that he would not seek a fourth term in Congress. The decision led The Cook Political Report to move Texas' 23rd District from "Republican toss up" to "lean Democratic."
The district, which stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border between San Antonio and El Paso, has flipped between Republicans and Democrats five times since the 1990s. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton earned the majority of the vote there in 2016.
A Republican has yet to announce a 2020 campaign to represent Hurd's district. Following the lawmaker's retirement, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that Republicans "would fight tooth and nail to ensure it remains in Republican hands."