Ex-CIA officer grabs House seat

Former CIA officer Will Hurd on Tuesday became perhaps the first person to jump from the cybersecurity industry to Congress. 

An African-American Republican, Hurd edged out incumbent Pete GallegoPete Pena GallegoGOP candidate scores upset win in Texas state Senate runoff Koch group launches digital ads in tight Texas House race Iraq War vet wins Texas Dem runoff MORE (D) in Texas’ 23rd district, running mostly on his career as an undercover CIA operative, but also touting his current job as senior adviser at cybersecurity vendor FusionX. 

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According to reports, Hurd will become the first black lawmaker from the 23rd Texas district since Reconstruction, an area that stretches from San Antonio to El Paso, where border security is a perennial concern.

In an election cycle that didn’t feature much cybersecurity discussion, Hurd was the exception. 

When given the chance to give the weekly GOP address last month, he highlighted the issue. 

“We need to make border security, countering drug traffickers and fighting cyber criminals all national priorities," he said.

The security industry has consistently argued Congress’s technical naiveté hinders its ability to propose productive cybersecurity legislation. Given the technical skill set required, industry experts insist they are best equipped to establish cyber defense standards.

Hurd worked with FusionX to advise large retailers, financial institutions and manufacturers on their cybersecurity approach. 

While at the CIA, he was stationed in South Asia and Middle East, where he focused on cybersecurity and counterterrorism intelligence gathering missions.