Election Day isn't over for Will Hurd

One of the most popular lawmakers on IT modernization issues is in a tight race for his political survival.

Rep. Will Hurd (Photo: Robert Severi for FCW)
 

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) is in another tight race that could come down to the last ballot

After declaring victory and obtaining a concession from his opponent, Rep. Will Hurd's race in Texas' 23rd district remains too close to call.

The contest seemed over on election night, with Hurd winning in yet another squeaker in a sprawling, politically divided border district that went for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.

But in the early morning hours, the results on the Texas Secretary of State page showed Democratic candidate Gina Ortiz Jones gaining ground and going ahead. The latest results from Texas officials have Hurd up by fewer than 700 votes out of a total of 209,519 votes cast, but there are more ballots to be counted. All of Hurd's races have been very close, since he unseated a Democratic incumbent in 2014.

"I'm proud to be the first person to hold this tough seat three elections in a row for more than two decades," Hurd said in a statement supplied by his campaign. "I'm ready to get back to work for my constituents."

A spokesperson for the Jones campaign said, "We won't stop working until every provisional ballot, absentee ballot, and military or overseas ballot has been counted." As of this writing, Jones has not called for a recount. Texas law authorizes recounts in the event of a result in which the difference between the vote for the top candidates is less than 10 percent of the winner's total.

Hurd is the chairman of the IT Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee -- a job he picked up as a freshman in 2014. He's also the lead sponsor of the Modernizing Government Technology Act, which set up a central revolving fund to help agencies pay for technology upgrades with the promise of paying the fund back out of cost savings.

His central role on IT acquisition issues may be diminished in any event with the Democratic takeover of the House. It's not clear even whether the IT Subcommittee will continue to exist. In the coming days, Democrats will begin meeting to organize the 116th Congress, and the composition of the Oversight Committee's various subcommittees could change.

Hurd, a former CIA officer, also sits on the Intelligence and Homeland Security Committees, and he could be looking to advance within GOP ranks to other more sought-after committee assignments, including Foreign Relations, Appropriations and Armed Services.

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