After coming within a thousand votes of unseating Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) in last year’s general election, Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones has announced she’ll be taking another crack at winning the seat.
On Tuesday, Jones announced via a campaign video that she would once again be challenging the three-term incumbent.
“Last November, I came up a little bit short in my run for Congress—926 votes—but I’ve never been one to back down, because the promise of our country is worth fighting for,” said Jones. “It’s why I served in the military, deployed to Iraq; it’s why I served in President Obama’s administration; it’s why I’ve dedicated my life to public service, and it’s why I’m stepping up again to run for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District.”
Jones had long been expected to mount a rematch against Hurd after losing the 2018 election—a narrow defeat that surprised onlookers from both parties who expected the seat to flip to Democrat hands.
So surprising was the outcome, Jones refused to concede the race on election night—waiting more than two weeks for overseas and military ballots to come in before ultimately admitting defeat.
Congressional District 23, which stretches from the western boundaries of San Antonio to the eastern edge of El Paso and contains hundreds of miles of the Texas-Mexico border, has been a swing district for over a decade. It has shifted back and forth between Democrat and Republican hands over five times.
Hurd has twice rebuffed Democrat attempts to take back the seat.
But while Republicans have kept the seat out of Democrat hands in the official sense, many conservatives argue it already belongs to their liberal rivals in a practical sense. Hurd—who famously embarked on a “bipartisan road trip” with Beto O’Rourke to drum up publicity in advance of his campaign against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)— routinely votes against his own party on myriad issues.
Recently, Hurd voted with Democrats to deny President Donald Trump border security funding, telling Rolling Stone that Trump’s statements regarding the border being in a crisis was a “myth.”
“Will Hurd is NOT a conservative nor does he care about American security and safety. Why doesn’t he just change parties?” wrote George Rodriguez, a conservative activist and radio host from nearby San Antonio.
Hurd has also been a critic of Trump on other issues, going so far as to write an op-ed in The New York Times accusing him of being manipulated by Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Texas’ 23rd Congressional District is one of six Lone Star State congressional districts targeted by national Democrats in the 2020 election cycle. The race is expected to be hotly contested and expensive for both parties.