Will Hurd's departure signals that the trickle of GOP retirements could turn into a flood: columnist
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX)

On Friday, Texas Republican Will Hurd said he wouldn't seek re-election, adding to the trickle of Republicans who've left office in the Trump era. Hurd is the GOP's only African-American representative in the House.


Writing in the Atlantic, Russell Berman notes that Hurd's departure is not good news for the GOP. The handful of Republicans who've left office is already bad enough.

"What’s even worse for the party’s diminished ranks, however, is that this modest wave of departures may only be a harbinger of a broader exodus to come," Berman writes.

"In 2018, Republicans lost their House majority in a Democratic wave that was exacerbated by more than two dozen retirements," he continues. "But the early indicators of 2019 suggest the GOP minority has not hit rock bottom: The surprising announcements thus far are a signal that Republican lawmakers see little benefit in trying to govern out of power and little hope that their party will regain the majority again in 2020."

Hurd released a statement in support of what he views as traditional Republican values.

"I’ve taken a conservative message to places that don’t often hear it. Folks in these communities believe in order to solve problems we should empower people not the government, help families move up the economic ladder through free markets not socialism and achieve and maintain peace by being nice with nice guys and tough with tough guys," he said. "These Republican ideals resonate with people who don’t think they identify with the Republican Party. Every American should feel they have a home in our party."

Berman wonders how many will follow.

"The big question now is: How many more Republicans will head out the door? After Democrats last recaptured the House majority in 2006, more than 20 GOP lawmakers retired outright rather than seek reelection in 2008, helping Democrats expand their majority in the presidential-election year."