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Gina Ortiz Jones Running Again To Unseat Texas U.S. Rep. Will Hurd

Gina Ortiz Jones is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes. (Marjorie Kamys Cotera)

By Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune

Gina Ortiz Jones, the Democrat who narrowly lost last year to U.S. Rep.  Will Hurd, R-Helotes, is running again.

Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, launched her long-anticipated 2020 bid Tuesday morning, setting the stage for a rematch in Texas' most competitive congressional district.

"Last November, I came up a little bit short in my run for Congress — 926 votes — but I've never been one to back down because the promise of our country is worth fighting for," Jones said in a  brief video posted to Twitter.

Jones had been expected to run again after her razor-thin loss in November, when she  declined to concede for nearly two weeks while all outstanding ballots were counted. Within several weeks of accepting defeat, she informed supporters that she was "very likely" to pursue a rematch.

She is the first major candidate to enter the 2020 Democratic primary in the massive 23rd District, which stretches from San Antonio to El Paso and covers hundreds of miles of Texas-Mexico border. The field already includes Liz Wahl, the former U.S. anchor for Russia Today who  quit live on-air in 2014.

The National Republican Congressional Committee reacted to Jones' candidacy by deriding it as just the latest 2020 bid by a Texas congressional challenger who came up short last year.

"If the definition of insanity truly is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, someone should check on Texas Democrats," NRCC spokesman Bob Salera said in a statement.