A Note on the Hurd Retirement

The odds have increased all border districts will be represented by Democrats after 2020.

After the 2018 mid-terms, I gave some public opinion and electoral numbers a look and noted that most border districts were represented by Democrats and that all border districts were represented by House members who opposed a border wall (I also noted some public opinion figures from border states).

As I noted at the time: if Trump’s views on the border were accurate, we should expect to see political support by those most directly affected. Instead, we see the opposite.

With the announced retirement of Will Hurd (R-TX23) from the House effective the end of this term, the odds have increased that the entire stretch of border will be represented not only by anti-wall members of the House, but by Democrats.

National climate will matter in November 2020, and TX23 will remain competitive (and NM02 might flip back to the GOP) but it remains true that the citizens along our southern border do not support, in the aggregate, the wall nor Trump’s approach to border security.

Note that Hurd won TX23 by just over 1000 votes (granted, in an election that heavily favored Democrats nationally), which clearly figured into his decision. He is also an outlier in the party, not only is he is sole African-American in the GOP House caucus, he is moderate (in comparison to the party, which makes sense given the partisan makeup of his district) and he has often criticized Trump (which is a a dangerous approach to GOP politics these days).

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Campaign 2020, Congress, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. michael reynolds says:

    In effect: Black man quits KKK. Jew quits Nazi Party. Cruella DeVil quits PETA. The surprise is that there was a black man so effing stupid he was part of a white supremacist party. The question now is: just how clueless is Senator Tim Scott (SC-Token)? How morally bankrupt do you have to be to collect a paycheck for being the GOP’s one black friend?

    As for the border, yes, it’s generally the case that people with the most direct experience are the least hysterical.

  2. Console says:

    It’s the thing that’s the most annoying about the immigration debate. We are supposed to grant tons of credibility to the opinions of Americans that are least affected by illegal immigration. We have a “crisis” because white people in Iowa don’t like Messicans, and this is a serious problem that we need to solve.

  3. Teve says:

    Current Gallup numbers have 72% of Americans wanting immigration at the current level or a reduced level, 27% at an increased level. I doubt even a third of the people in any of those groups could correctly guess how many legal immigrants we have every year within a factor of 5. But you go to the election with the voters you have, not the voters you wish you had.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    Mass murder in an El Paso mall. The shooter has a manifesto that is explicitly anti-Hispanic, anti-immigrant.

    This is white, Trumpist terror, egged on by the GOP and Fox News, weapons helpfully made available through the combined efforts of the GOP and the NRA.

  5. de stijl says:


    I like Mexicans. They operate my favorite food truck. University & 14th. Solid pastor and when they have it the lengua is amazing.

  6. Teve says:

    @de stijl: Al pastor is the bee’s knees

  7. Jax says:

    I’m still not sure why taco trucks on every corner was such a “Bad Thing”. I freakin love taco trucks, man.

    That could’ve been any Wal Mart on a Saturday. Back-to-school shopping, plus Saturday….

    In honor of de Stijl being back, I’m gonna cue up some Har Mar Superstar. You will probably laugh, de Stijl, when you hear what my teenage daughter said after watching some Har Mar on YouTube….”Every teenage girl in the world needs to have that kind of confidence, it would be a better place.”

  8. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Teve: @de stijl:

    As I believe others have pointed out, a multicultural dish resulting from an influx of immigrants (Lebanese I believe.).

  9. Jax says:
  10. de stijl says:


    You made me cry.

    It’s cool – good tears.

    Tell your daughter she rocks and to go after whatever she wants.

    Much love.

    I agree with your daughter. Confident young women will change the world for the better. Please pass that along.

  11. de stijl says:


    Heads up – there’s a little bit of adult themes in When You Were Mine

    Healthy in my mind, because Prince is taking about incorporating the past of a new special person in his life. Sometimes not so much – there is some stuff that sounds stalkerish.

    You’re the parent. Your choice.

    If it were me I would give her all the Prince and Har Mar Superstar she wants.

  12. de stijl says:


    Not the best pastor I’ve ever had, but it’s pretty freaking close. And they’re doing it out of a truck.

    And the tongue is flat-out stunning.

  13. de stijl says:


    You’ll want preview this before sharing, but there’s a live video of Har Mar Superstar doing When You Were Mine shirtless and some Aztec print leggings.

    There’s nothing sexual or inappropriate, but it’s skin.

    For a second it seems funny because he’s balding and short and stout and topless, but it very quickly kicks in that this a person who loves what he’s doing right now in that second and does not care one flipping bit what you think.

    Objectively, he’s a goofy looking guy. But he frigging kills it anyway.

    Preview first.

    I’m not you. But I would share this with my daughter. It’s liberating. He’s saying by doing “I don’t have to be model gorgeous to kick serious ass.”

    And he surely does.

  14. Jax says:

    @de stijl: Oh, she’s prepared to take over the world and lead her own expedition to a habitable planet. “Not Mars, though, that’s stupid, we’ve probably already been there and ruined it before we came here. If we were to colonize it, we would probably find fossils of ourselves.” 😉

    My heart hurts for El Paso. That fucker chose them because of their proximity to the border. We are not safe anywhere, thanks to people whose minds have been ratfucked by the conservative/conspiracy/rightwing media machine.

    Pardon my language.

  15. An Interested Party says:

    My heart hurts for El Paso. That fucker chose them because of their proximity to the border. We are not safe anywhere, thanks to people whose minds have been ratfucked by the conservative/conspiracy/rightwing media machine.

    And despite all of that, no one who can will do anything about gun violence and the trash in the White House will continue to demonize and dehumanize Mexicans and Central Americans and blacks and the majority of his party will stand by him as he does this…if that isn’t enough to get people to come out next year and vote against his sorry ass, I don’t know what is…

  16. michilines says:

    @An Interested Party: And despite all of that, no one who can will do anything about gun violence

    Sorry to only quote part, but I think this is the precise time to do something about gun violence. Dems are in control of the the House and the NRA is preoccupied with their own financial and political problems. I would love to see the groups that already exist (Moms and others) grab this opportunity to really make a change for the better.

    The NRA is weakened — take advantage of that.

  17. de stijl says:

    This was lax of me.

    The other best Prince song ever was Little Red Corvette. (That makes three best Prince songs ever.)

    It’s really about cars. Watch your dirty mind!

    I have a personal connection to Little Red Corvette. I was hanging out with a girl I really liked at a house party. I was so crushing on her and had been for weeks.

    We were smoking and chatting and LRC came on and we were dancing and then we were kissing.

    Didn’t work out in the end. I gave it my best shot. I was enamored.