Pete Gallego passes on second bid to reclaim old seat in Congress from Will Hurd

Former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, a Democrat, has decided not to try again to reclaim his old seat in Congress by launching a campaign against Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of Helotes.

Former US Rep Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, concedes the 2016 Texas 23 Congressional District race to Will Hurd, a San Antonio Republican, on Nov. 9, 2016 Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

Former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, has decided not to try again to reclaim his old seat in Congress.

“Know that my public service is not done, but that for the present, I have decided to forego another run in the 23rd District," Gallego said in a statement Friday. "I continue to explore options that will allow me to give back to San Antonio and the rest of this great state which has given me and my family so much."

Gallego had been considering whether to make a second consecutive run for Texas' 23rd Congressional District, which he represented from 2013-2015 and stretches from San Antonio to El Paso. The incumbent, Helotes Republican Will Hurd, unseated Gallego in 2014, and Gallego unsuccessfully challenged Hurd in 2016. 

At least three other Democrats have already announced they will take on Hurd in 2018: Jay Hulings, a former federal prosecutor from San Antonio; Rick Treviño, a teacher from San Antonio; and Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer from San Antonio.

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Gallego had set up an exploratory committee for the seat in July. At the time, he said he was "energized about 2018," citing a new level of Democratic enthusiasm in the district following the election of President Donald Trump.

In recent weeks, Gallego tried to raise money for his would-be congressional campaign, according to those plugged in with the Democratic establishment donor community — but found resistance after losing twice.

Abby Livingston contributed to this report.