EXCLUSIVE – Former Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas realizes his trip this weekend to New Hampshire will spark further speculation the one-time CIA clandestine officer is mulling a bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. New Hampshire has for a century held the first primary in the race for the White House,
“I completely understand that,” Hurd said in an exclusive interview with Fox News ahead of his stop Saturday in New Hampshire, where he’ll address hundreds of Republican Party leaders, elected officials and activists gathered at the state GOP’s annual meeting.
“I’m aware of the situation, and I’m aware of the importance that New Hampshire plays in our political system. And I’m excited to engage with Granite Staters and understand their perspectives and see how my message resonates with them,” Hurd emphasized.
Hurd, who was the only Black Republican in the House during his tenure in Congress from 2015 to 2021, grabbed national attention last spring during a well-publicized book tour for “American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done.”
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In his book, Hurd urged his party to rethink its style of politics and offered ideas to reform America’s political system and keep the nation competitive against China and other powers.
“Here’s what I have learned over the last couple of years: Nobody wants to see a repeat of 2020,” Hurd argued. “I think there are a lot of Republicans that want to see conservative policies enacted, but if we don’t win elections, we can enact those conservative policies.”
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Asked about a possible White House run, Hurd said, “I always have an open mind about how to serve my country. And I’ve been fortunate to be able to serve my country in a number of different ways. And one of the reasons I’m going to be in New Hampshire is to talk about how the importance of the first-in-the-nation primary is going to affect and determine what we want America to be.
“I know that New Hampshire GOP recognizes and understands the importance of that position, and that they’re not just making a decision for themselves, but they’re making a decision for the rest of the country. And that’s really what my message is going to be.”
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Hurd was going to be one of the main speakers at the NHGOP meeting until earlier this week. As Fox News first reported, former President Trump announced he would attend the gathering and give the keynote address. Trump is the only major Republican to date to declare his candidacy for the White House in 2024, launching his campaign in November.
Asked about sharing the stage Saturday with Trump, Hurd said, “The fact that folks in New Hampshire are going to be able to see different messages is important. This is what’s actually great about the Republican Party. We have a diversity of viewpoints and opinions. … We should be having a competition of ideas. That’s the only way that we’re going to make sure this experiment called America continues to exist.”
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Hurd has an impressive resume, but if he runs, he would be considered a longshot in a GOP field with Trump and such potential contenders with name recognition as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration.
“What’s so fascinating about a place like New Hampshire is that Granite Staters appreciate unique backgrounds and experiences, and Granite Staters have open minds,” Hurd said. “And so I think that’s what makes a state like New Hampshire so fascinating and so interesting.”
Longtime New Hampshire-based national Republican consultant Jim Merrill agrees.
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“If he’s going to resonate anywhere, it’s going to be here because New Hampshire still affords candidates an opportunity to be heard, to be paid attention and to be taken seriously. So, someone credible like a Will Hurd will get that opportunity,” Merrill said.
“Whether that breaks through to something broader remains to be seen. But we’ve seen time and again underfunded candidates do well in New Hampshire and exceed expectations. And, for Will Hurd, it may simply be exceeding expectations should he decide to run.”