Ohio congressman is first Republican House incumbent to lose since 2009
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Washington • The first-term Texas GOP congressman is leaving a long political career behind in the GOP pocket of the Lone Star State with a political loss that leaves little doubt that Texas Republicans are increasingly becoming a liberal force in Congress.
In a week of upsets in the Republican Party, GOP representative Will Hurd’s surprising defeat of Sen. Ted Cruz for the Senate Republican nomination has revived Republican fears about their fate in midterm elections nationally. In a state where the GOP is often thought to be invincible, the loss of Hurd, a five-term congressman from a deeply conservative area of Texas, means that the GOP has lost four House seats in the last two election cycles.
And it will have much to say about the changing political environment in Washington, where Republicans are struggling to preserve a majority in the House — and in the Senate — despite the emergence of a new conservative majority in the upper chamber.
“We always talk about how the people in Texas are so different from the people across the river,” Rep. John Shimkus, a Florida Republican and an early supporter of Donald Trump, said in an interview with the Washington Post. “I think you take a look a the landscape, and we have more potential red state Democrats than we have potential blue state Democrats.”
Since the beginning of 2014, there have been 10 House Republican retirements, with only three of those House members in the last two years having since been re-elected. Fourteen GOP senators have lost their seats in the last two election cycles. These retirements have cost Republicans about 100 seats in the House and 33 seats in the Senate, according to an analysis by the Cook Political Report, an outside publication that keeps track of congressional races.
Cruz, who served in the House from 2005 to 2009 before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and then losing to Hurd in November, is now the only Republican senatorial candidate who has lost in