Gallego represents a competitive seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 10:55 a.m. | The boundaries around Texas’ 23rd District are not certain yet, but Republicans are already hunting for a candidate to challenge freshman Rep. Pete Gallego, a Democrat, in the state’s most competitive district.
State lawmakers are working to make the 2012 court-drawn congressional map permanent. In the meantime, Republican sources mentioned a few potential candidates and cautioned that a rematch remains a strong possibility for 2014.
Former Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco and former CIA Agent Will Hurd are two of the most-often mentioned candidates by local Republicans.
Canseco held the seat for a single term before he lost to Gallego by four points in 2012. Since then, Canseco has been reaching out to members of the delegation and other Republicans as he considers a comeback bid, according to sources.
But if Canseco wants a rematch with Gallego, he will have to face Hurd, who announced his candidacy on Sunday. In 2010, Canseco and Hurd ran against each other in the Republican primary and subsequent runoff. Canseco won the nomination by about 5 points.
State and national Republicans caution that any recruitment efforts are preliminary, given the state of the Congressional map. The Lone Star State does not have a final map for 2014 and beyond, and Republican Gov. Rick Perry recently called the GOP-dominated state legislature into special session to address the issue.
The 23rd District will likely be at the center of any attempted changes to the map. The new lines could push Canseco or Hurd out of the primary and draw other potential candidates into the district. The area is staggering in size, stretching from San Antonio to El Paso.
Efforts to reach Canseco and Hurd for comment were unsuccessful.
Updated 10:55 a.m. | Here is Hurd’s announcement video: