August 2, 2019 / 4:07 AM / 18 days ago

Will Hurd, sole black Republican in U.S. House, will not seek re-election

U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) speaks at a news conference with Dreamers, immigration rights activists and others in support of a deal that delivers a permanent solution for Dreamers and funds for border security in congressional shutdown negotiations outside the Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/Files

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Will Hurd, the only Republican African-American member of the U.S. House of Representatives, said on Thursday he would not seek re-election next year.

Hurd, 41, who represents a district in southern Texas along the border with Mexico, said in a statement on Twitter that he wanted to “pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security.”

Last month, Hurd strongly criticized tweets by Republican President Donald Trump in which he said four progressive Democratic minority congresswomen, including one born in Somalia, should “go back” to where they came from.

“Those tweets are racist and xenophobic,” Hurd told CNN.

A former undercover CIA officer in the Middle East and South Asia, Hurd serves on the House Intelligence Committee. He was first elected to Congress in 2014.

Hurd is the sixth House Republican to announce in the past two weeks they are not seeking re-election in the November 2020 election, according to the New York Times.

Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Peter Cooney

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