SAN ANTONIO – It seems like every election cycle, the congressional race for Texas District 23 is one of the most hotly-contested elections in the country.
Will Hurd, who has been representing the district since 2014, is a former CIA agent who traded in undercover operations for a campaign.
"I probably eat breakfast here almost every single day," Hurd said recently at Hinee Coffee, where he visited with KSAT 12 News anchor Steve Spriester.
Hinee Coffee sits firmly in a busy Helotes strip mall, where hot sips of coffee and hospitality are commonplace and where Spriester found a waiting cup and a congressman clearly in his comfort zone.
"My joke I always tell people is growing up in Leon Valley, there are two places I never thought I'd live -- Afghanistan and Helotes -- and I've lived in both," he said.
Before Hurd was a congressman, Helotes was part of the San Antonio suburbs he called his neighborhood, and it still is.
"Look, my head has been this size since I was 4 years old. I had a speech impediment until I was late in middle school. I was always tall and lanky. In fifth grade, I wore a size 15 shoe," Hurd said.
The Republican still plays pickup basketball games at O.P. Schnabel Park and remembers fondly the halls of John Marshall High School. He even remembers his first election.
"Ha ha ha, my first election was, yes, my first election that I lost, was actually for prom king at John Marshall High School," Hurd recalls.
He would bounce back and get elected to student body president at Texas A&M University and move on to a job with the CIA and then Congress.
Hurd gives a lot of credit to his family and the household in which he grew up.
"I've been fortunate. I have two loving parents. You know, my dad's black, my mom's white, you know this, and it was not in vogue to be an inter-racial couple in 1971 in South Texas," Hurd said. Now, Robert and Mary Alice Hurd's youngest son is a member of Congress.
Will Hurd believes that says a lot about District 23 and the people he represents.
"I've had the opportunity to literally live all over the world. I've lived in some great places in the United States, as well, but this is home, and it's great to be able to represent my hometown," Hurd said.
Hurd also talked about the some of the issues he thinks are important to District 23, which stretches from San Antonio to the border, and all the way to the edge of El Paso.
"The number one issue is we need someone that represents this district that is able to work with both sides of the political divide, as well as stand up to both sides of the political divide."
"The challenges that we have in a big urban area like San Antonio are very different than what you see in the rural parts, so if you're going to make sure that people still have access to health care and decrease costs, you've got to be able to function up in Washington D.C."
"We have to prepare our kids for jobs that don't exist today, the technological change that we're going to see in the next 30 years, is going to make the last 30 years look insignificant. And guess what? China is coming for us. China has made it very clear they are trying to surpass the United States of America as a power in the world."
President Donald Trump
"I don't believe in coattails, I've said that all the time. And the president is not my boss, Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, is not my boss. It's the 800,000 people that I represent."
"The one thing that can stall this economy is not having a proper workforce to take care of opportunities, and you know the best way to do that is to sort out immigration."
Hurd thinks the first immigration change should be to give Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, or DACA, recipients a path to citizenship.
Spriester also sat down with Hurd's opponent in the District 23 race, Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones. Her story and stances on issues she thinks are important will be posted Wednesday.