It’s not every day that you find a black conservative politician in the highest echelons of Washington politics. The latest person to fit this description is Will Hurd who was at one point in time seen in many quarters as one of the brightest lights of the Republican party. The American politician serves as a U.S. representative for Texas’ 23rd congressional district. A former CIA agent, Hurd was elected into Congress in 2014 where he is known for his moderate political views as well as his expertise on tech-related issues. The San Antonio native has since made it known that he would not be seeking reelection to Congress in 2020.
Will Hurd was Born to an Interracial Couple Deep in the South
When Will Hurd’s parents; Mary Alice and Robert Hurd decided to get married, their decision was not a popular choice. Back in the mid-70s, interracial marriages in a state like Texas was not the most popular thing to do. But buoyed by their love for each other, they decided to go ahead with it at whatever cost.
Robert and Mary met in Los Angeles, California in the 1970s. At the time, Robert was a traveling salesman working for the American Tobacco Company while Mary Alice was a buyer for a departmental store. Hurd’s parents dated for a short while before eloping to Reno, Nevada where they got married. The two later relocated to Texas due to job demands but found life difficult as they could not find a home just because they were an interracial couple.
He is the Last Child of His Parents
Will Hurd has an older brother and an older sister. His older brother Chuck Hurd took after his father by pursuing a career in sales. He is a graduate of Texas Tech University and works with the Sales arm of Grande Communications. Chuck has since married Ruth Anne with whom he has twin girls; Naomi Quinlan and Madolyn Hope.
Will’s immediate older sibling, Liz Hurd-Parks, lives in Texas and was one of the volunteers during her brother’s congressional campaign. Very little is known about her personal life.
Will Hurd is Not Married But is Dating Lynlie Wallace
Standing at an impressive height of 6 feet 4 inches, it is no surprise that there has been a lot more spotlight on Will Hurd since he joined the U.S. Congress. A huge chunk of the interest he has garnered has been around his love life.
Will, who is soft-spoken and averse to undue showiness, prefers to keep the focus on his professional life, however, it is known that he is dating Lynlie Wallace, a political strategist who serves as Chief of Staff for State Representative Lyle Larson’s office. Prior to her current role, Ms. Wallace worked as her partner’s campaign manager. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from Angelo State University and was once a Special Assistant to a County Commissioner in Bexar County. She had previously unsuccessfully run for office; a seat on the San Antonio City Council.
His Journey Into Politics
While most politicians can trace their inclination towards politics to politically active family heritage, Will Hurd’s family never had politics on the front burner. The Congressman attended Texas A&M University where he studied computer science (major) and international relations (minor). In his senior year, he decided to run for Student Government President, an office he won against the odds by focusing on students that never bothered to vote in the past.
After an incident where logs of wood collapsed and killed 12 students, Hurd was thrust into the limelight as he spoke up for the student community, granting interviews to national media. During this episode, a lot of prominent names took notice of him, one of which was the University’s Dean of the School of Government, Rob Gates, who would go on to become CIA Director and Defense Secretary.
Another one of his teachers, a former CIA agent-turned-professor, James Olson, recommended him to the CIA after he mooted the idea of joining the agency. Will Hurd’s track record of exemplary leadership and integrity prompted these men to recommend him to the agency. Incidentally, the CIA was also looking to broaden its racial profile as there was a drought of black operatives within the agency. So, with the help of Olson, he joined the CIA where he worked as an undercover agent for nearly a decade, from 2000 to 2009.
Hurd’s work for the agency took him to various parts of the world, more specifically the Middle East and Asia where worked in dangerous terrains in Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. His ethnically malleable looks meant he was an asset that had little problems blending into local populations. He also speaks the Urdu language fluently. His assignments in the region included collecting intelligence, recruiting spies, and gathering secrets.
Upon leaving the CIA in 2009, Hurd worked for various companies, including a cybersecurity firm (Fusion X) and a strategic advisory firm (Crumpton Group LLC).
Will Hurd’s Time In Congress
Will Hurd’s journey to Congress commenced in 2014 when he was elected to represent Texas’ 23rd congressional district on the platform of the Republican Party. The politician, who had made his first bid for office in 2010 but lost the primaries, has since then served three terms where he has been on various congressional committees, including the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Information Technology Subcommittee, Committee on Homeland Security, Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee, and House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee.
Hurd has stood out during his time in Congress partly because he is the only black Republican in the 116th Congress and more importantly because of the quality of his work. The Republican party has been (rightly or wrongly) accused of not having a lot of blacks and minorities in its fold, a factor that makes Will Hurd all the more appealing. He further is the first black man to be elected to Congress from Texas on the platform of the GOP. He is also one of just seven black people to have been elected into the United States House of Representatives on the platform of the Republican Party.
With regard to his political views, Hurd is a moderate Republican. He is pro-life, pro-guns, and supports repealing the Affordable Care Act (popularly known as Obamacare). He also supports increased U.S. military presence in Iraq and Syria and opposes the Iran nuclear deal. The central thrust of his time in congress has been to find the meeting point between national security and technology.
Hurd has built a reputation as a lawmaker that employs a common-sense approach to legislation that favors his constituents. In a broader sense, he has been touted as a future star of the party, a beckon of hope, a signpost for what the post-Trump Republican party should look like; young, tech-savvy, urbane, multi-cultural, and more importantly, generally liked by people.
However, in August 2019, Will Hurd surprised everyone when he announced he would not be seeking reelection to Congress. He has instead chosen to pursue other interests although he says he isn’t retired from politics.