U.S. Rep. Hurd wants to be voice, weapon for district

February 15, 2015
In The News

El Paso Times

It has been a busy first six weeks in office for U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, who represents one of the largest geographical districts in Texas.

Hurd, R-Texas, has focused on border security, cyber security, the economy and health care for veterans.

"It's been very busy but it's great to be in a position to do something about the issues that I have been talking about for more than 20 months," Hurd said. "I have been able to bring a number of members of Congress down here already to have them see the border area and to help them see that when we talk about border security, we are also talking about international commerce which is very important to this district because I have more border in my district than anyone else."

Aaron Martinez

Hurd, 37, was elected in November to represent Texas's 23rd congressional district, which spans for the edge of El Paso County to the outskirts of San Antonio. He is only the third Republican to represent the district since it was created in 1967 and is the first black Republican to be elected to U.S. Congress from a Texas district.

"My dad is from East Texas, my mom is for Pennsylvania and they met in Los Angeles. They moved to San Antonio, where they had a hard time buying a home in the 1970s because of the color of the dad's skin," Hurd said. "And now their youngest son is a member of Congress, so what that says to me is that the residents of District 23 and the great folks of Texas voted on someone not because of the color of their skin but cause of the content of their character. I am very honored and excited to serve this great district and it is a sign of how far we have come."

Hurd has made waves in Washington D.C. by being one of the few freshman congressmen in recent history to be appointed chairman of a congressional subcommittee.

"It is a great honor and I didn't really realize how big of a deal it was for a freshmen congressman to get a committee chairmanship. This is an important committee as we have seen recently with the hacking of Sony and Anthem (health insurance company)," Hurd said. "Information Technology is one of those areas where the House, the Senate and the President can actually work together on passing legislature to make sure that we are protecting our citizens' digital information."

The newly-formed subcommittee will primarily focus on four key issues, which are cyber security, immerging technology, IT procurement and protecting the government digital infrastructure while guarding civil liberties, Hurd said.

Hurd, who unsuccessfully ran for congress in 2010, said his experience in the CIA, his computer science bachelors degree for Texas A&M, and his work with various cyber security companies have prepared him to undertake the lead on the Information Technology Subcommittee.

"I worked nine years as a CIA undercover officer with most of that time overseas, so when it comes to some of the biggest issues of the day such as how we deal with ISIS (Islamic State), border security and what is happening in the Ukraine, I have the experience needed in dealing with them," Hurd said.

While Hurd is only six weeks into the job, he knows what he wants to accomplish in his first two-year term representing the 23rd congressional district — to become the voice and weapon for his district.

"I went up to Washington, D.C., not just to be a congressman. I went up there to be a representative on behalf of my constitutions," Hurd said. "I hope people say 'Will Hurd really was our representative. He really fought for us.' That's the reason I did this. I want to be the blunt object for the people in this district to wield in Washington, D.C. I am here to fight on behalf of the people who don't have someone fighting for them."

Aaron Martinez may be reached at 546-6249.