Nationally, Hurd’s retirement is a massive blow to the morale of Republicans who care about winning back the U.S. House.
Since the last redistricting process, several congressional seats have become competitive amid changing demographics and backlash against Trump. But the 23rd District was the only seat in the current congressional map that was actually configured to be competitive.
That distinction came only after it was modified by federal judges who found that the Republican-held Texas Legislature intentionally discriminated against Latino voters when they originally drew up the district in 2011.
The 23rd district had been considered a district where Latino voters could overcome racially polarized voting to elect their preferred candidate. But seeing trouble ahead, Republicans in 2011 worked to manipulate Latinos’ political clout to keep the district in their column, the court found.
State lawmakers eventually adopted modifications ordered by the court. Pointing to Hurd’s consecutive wins in recent years, some have argued those changes did not go far enough in restoring the 23rd district as an “opportunity district” for Latinos.