Former Texas Congressman Will Hurd announced he's running for president on "CBS Mornings" Thursday.
"This morning, I filed to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States," Hurd told "CBS Mornings."
Hurd, 45, was first elected to serve Texas's 23rd Congressional District in 2014, beating a Democratic incumbent by two points. The majority-Hispanic district stretches along the Rio Grande, west of San Antonio and east of El Paso. Hurd was reelected by narrow margins twice before joining a wave of congressional Republicans whobefore the 2020 election.
A self-described "dark horse" candidate, Hurd now enters a crowded field with 11.
Hurd said his decision to enter the race was something he and his wife decided to do after realizing "we live in complicated times."
Hurd said issues such as education — noting low scores in math, science and reading for students — was also a factor in his decision to run.
"These are the issues we should be talking about. And to be frank, I'm pissed that we're not talking about these things," he said.
"I believe the Republican Party can be the party that talks about the future, not the past," Hurd said. "We should be putting out a vision of how do we have unprecedented peace, how do we have a thriving economy, how do we make sure our kids have a world class education, regardless of their age and location? We can do this. It's hard. But here's one thing I've learned: If we remember two things, we can pull this off. America is better together. Way more unites us than divides us."
Recognizing the prevailing hyper-partisanship and anger in politics, Hurd acknowledged the dominance that the former president has within the current Republican landscape. However, he said he sees the importance of the Republican party not succumbing to fear of Trump's influence.
"You can't be afraid of Donald Trump. Too many candidates in this race are afraid of Donald Trump, but we also have to articulate a different vision," Hurd said. Drawing from his personal experience of winning in a predominantly Latino district as a Black Republican, he said it is necessary to engage diverse communities and addressing their specific concerns.
"I was able to pull it off because I did something simple, show up to places where people don't expect you. Talk about the things they care about and that's the path, it's not easy... it's something we have to do," Hurd said.
Looking ahead to the upcoming presidential election, Hurd described previously as a "rematch from hell" between former President Donald Trump and President Biden. He stressed the significance of issues like immigration and the need to tackle them for the betterment of the nation.
As a former CIA officer, Hurd said that Trump's indictment consisting of 37 felony charges related to his handling of classified documents after he left the White House is "frustrating," and that "nobody's above the law, and you are innocent until proven guilty."
"That is what makes this case different. And the fact that Donald Trump willingly kept that material and he wants to be the leader of the free world is unacceptable to me," Hurd said.
Addressing potential criticism from within the Republican primary base, Hurd affirmed his unwavering commitment to his party, stating, "I am a Republican."
The latestshows former President Donald Trump leading the large field, with 62% support among likely Republican primary voters.
In a video announcing his presidential candidacy, Hurd singled out only two 2024 presidential candidates by name. Alluding to President Joe Biden's framing of the 2020 campaign as a "battle for the soul of our nation," Hurd says in the ad, "The soul of our country is under attack," and goes on to identify threats to Americans — illegal immigration, fentanyl, "out of control" immigration, crime and homelessness.
"President Biden can't solve these problems—or won't," Hurd continues. "And if we nominate a lawless, selfish, failed politician like Donald Trump—who lost the House, the Senate, and the White House — we all know Joe Biden will win again."
Since he left Congress, Hurd has worked in the private sector as an investment banker and consultant in cybersecurity and foreign affairs. Before his career in politics, he spent nearly a decade as an undercover CIA officer working in counterterrorism.
In Congress, Hurd was viewed as a moderate on a number of issues. In 2017, he voted against the Republican effort to repeal the nation's health care law, enacted under President Obama. Hurd, the only Republican in the House from a border district, called the southern "border crisis" a "myth," opposed the border wall championed by Trump and supported a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants, known as DREAMers.
While speaking with voters in Littleton, New Hampshire, last week, Hurd said that in order for Republicans to take the White House in 2024, this election needs to be a referendum on Mr. Biden — not Donald Trump.
Hurd was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, the child of a White mother and Black father. He studied computer science at Texas A&M University, where he was student body president. Immediately after he graduated in 2000, he went to work at the CIA.
In March 2020, he wrote a book, "American Reboot: An Idealist's Guide to Getting Big Things Done," published by Simon & Schuster, a subsidiary of Paramount Global, the parent company of CBS News.