Left: U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, speaks at a town hall in Alpine on Sept. 16, 2018. He stopped in the city as part of his annual end-of-summer swing through the district. Right: Gina Ortiz Jones, the Democratic nominee challenging Hurd, smiles as she is introduced during a Women at the Top Rally in San Antonio on Sept. 23, 2018. Patrick Svitek: Hurd/Robin Jerstad: Ortiz Jones
U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, is looking to hold on to the 23rd District. His opponent is Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer.
The Texas congressional race between incumbent Republican Will Hurd and Democratic challenger Gina Ortiz Jones is still too close to call following a dramatic overnight in which Ortiz Jones pulled ahead, Hurd pulled back, and news outlets across the nation retracted their projections.
On Wednesday morning in Congressional District 23, the state’s only true battleground district, Hurd was leading Ortiz Jones by nearly 700 votes, with all precincts counted.
Hurd, a two-term lawmaker and former CIA officer, has attempted to distance himself from President Donald Trump on issues such as Russian interference in the 2016 election and immigration — a key issue in this district, which covers hundred of miles of the Texas-Mexico border. This would not be Hurd’s first razor-thin victory: In 2016, he won reelection by about 3,000 votes.
Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer and Iraq War veteran, has tried to point out that most of Hurd’s votes have fallen in line with Trump. If elected, she would be the first Filipina-American member of Congress and the first openly LGBTQ lawmaker in Congress from Texas.
Neither candidate’s campaign immediately responded to requests for comment.