U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, speaks with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith at the opening keynote of the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2019.
U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, speaks with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith at the opening keynote of the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2019. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Retiring U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, is spearheading a new group to elect more diverse Republicans across the country, the latest sign that he plans to remain politically involved as he leaves office.

Announced Thursday, the Hurd-backed Future Leaders Fund intends to spend millions next year — notably in primaries — to boost more young, female and racially diverse Republicans.

"America is becoming more diverse, while the Republican Party is becoming less popular with minority voters," Hurd says in a video announcing the group, noting the GOP lost 76% of minority voters in the 2018 midterm elections. "If the Republican Party doesn't start looking like America and resonating with all Americans, then there won't be a Republican Party in America."

The group is set up as a super PAC and being run by Justin Hollis, who led Hurd's campaigns in the battleground 23rd District. Hurd says in the video that the Future Leaders Fund will run TV ads as well as build field programs.

Hurd, who is the only black Republican in the House, announced in August that he was not seeking reelection in the 23rd District, where he narrowly won a third term last year. On Wednesday, he endorsed Navy veteran Tony Gonzales, a Mexican-American, in the crowded GOP primary to replace him.

Hurd has not formally gotten involved in other races yet, but in addition to Gonzales, he regularly praises Wesley Hunt, a black Army veteran running to unseat freshman U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, D-Houston.

Hurd has not ruled out a 2024 presidential run since announcing his retirement. On Saturday, he is returning to New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, for a series of events including a fundraiser for a state senator.

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