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Challengers already lining up to run for Congress in 2020

January 2, 2019

The calendar just turned to 2019, but the 2020 race for Congressional seats in Texas is already on.

A few days after Christmas, San Antonio resident Liz Wahl, 33, a former cable television news anchor, filed papers in Washington, D.C. to run in the 23rd Congressional District held now by U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes. Her filing came just 37 days after Hurd was declared the winner in his re-election by just 926 votes over Air Force veteran Gina Ortiz Jones.

Jones told supporters in late December that she is also “very likely” to run again in 2020 for the seat.

Hurd is no stranger to competitive races. He’s won his last three elections but never topped 50 percent of the vote in any of them.

Hurd has not filed yet for re-election, but 23 of the state’s 36 members of Congress have, including a half-dozen who haven’t even been sworn in for their first term in office yet, like U.S. Rep-elects Dan Crenshaw and Lizzie Fletcher, both new members of Congress from Houston.

The 23rd Congressional District stretches from San Antonio to just outside of El Paso. Hurd’s 2018 battle was the most expensive race in the state. According to Federal Election Commission records, Hurd and Jones combined to spend $11 million on the race.

Wahl said it’s early but said she’s concerned about the country’s standing around the world and thinks she could hold President Donald Trump accountable for his actions more than Hurd. She said even though Hurd has split from the president on some issues, the 23rd Congressional District needs someone who will be more aggressive in being a check on the executive branch.

jeremy.wallace@chron.com

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