Some Younger GOP Congressmen Say They Know How To Keep Texas Red

U.S. Reps. Will Hurd and Dan Crenshaw say Texas is a battleground in 2020, but they disagree on how Republicans can effectively compete.

By Kristen Cabrera & Terri LangfordNovember 4, 2019 6:57 am

A recent Texas Tribune-University of Texas poll found that a majority of Democrats believe they don’t have a candidate who can defeat President Trump in Texas in 2020. But some members of the GOP – younger members of Congress – also see a problem for their party if Trump wins reelection.

Will Hurd, who represents District 23 in Southwest Texas, and Dan Crenshaw, whose District 2 includes parts of Houston, are relatively young members of the Texas congressional delegation. Both say Texas will be a battleground state in 2020, but they have different views on how the GOP should deal with that. Hurd and Crenshaw recently discussed that on the show “Axios on HBO.”

Hurd is the only African American Republican in the House, and he recently announced his retirement. In the Axios segment, he said the GOP needs to look more like him if it wants to survive because Texas, and other states, are more diverse now.

Crenshaw said the Democratic Party takes for granted that nonwhite voters will vote for Democratic candidates.

Texas Republican strategist Deirdre Delisi spoke with Texas Standard about the Axios segment, and says that Hurd is right that the GOP needs to become more diverse. Even with that diversity, though, she says Texas isn’t purple.

“There is no evidence that Texas is a purple state,” Delisi says. “With every statewide elected official as a Republican, with a strong majority in our congressional delegation and our Legislature Republican – Texas is still a solidly Republican state.”

She says Republicans have been successful for years in Texas because of their policies. But she says the GOP could benefit from attracting younger voters and letting them know what Republicans have accomplished during their leadership. She says Will Hurd’s reelection in 2018 is an example of a successful appeal to younger voters. But getting them to accept Donald Trump is harder – something Crenshaw and Hurd also spoke about on the Axios segment.

“There’s no question that he is a divisive guy,” Delisi says. “People either love him, or they love to hate him.”


Written by Kristen Cabrera and Shelly Brisbin.