Will Hurd's Parents: Meet Robert and Mary Alice Hurd

Yesterday, my parents instilled Republican values within me. Today, I will champion those principles with unwavering resolve.

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Years Together
Year Married
Proportion of Interracial Marriages in 1970

You didn’t tell Mary Alice what to do or what she needed

My mother, Mary Alice Knapp, grew up in the small town of Alexandria, Indiana. Her parents divorced when my mom was in high school. And her mother, my grandma, moved to Los Angeles following the divorce.

After graduating from high school in 1962, my mom, who could sew, knit, and crochet, worked Bullock’s in Fabrics & Notions (buttons, thread, and sewing tools).

Mary Alice eventually worked her way up to be the Head Buyer in Fabrics & Notions. My mom rose in her career to where she was making buying decisions for most of the stores in Bullock’s greater L.A. empire.

Years Bullock's was in Greater LA
Years spent as Head Buyer
Number of Women Buyers at Bullock's in the 60s (only Mary Alice)

When most salesmen at Bullock’s met my mother, they tended to dismiss her as an inexperienced girl, but soon realized she knew more about their products than they did.

One company that sold to Mary Alice’s department was Coats & Clark, and its account manager thought Mary Alice was a straight-up pain in the ass. So he handed off the Bullock’s account to a new trainee who was the first Black salesman Coats had ever hired — my dad, Bob Hurd.

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There wasn’t much money but there was a lot of love.

WILL HURD, on growing up

A family of five

My father supported a family of five as a traveling textile salesman. In our house, there wasn’t much money, but there was a lot of love.

My older brother, Chuck, says we were always broke, but I never realized that. I would have called us lower middle-class.

Yes, my mother made a lot of our clothes, but I figured it was because she was a good seamstress.

Yes, I knew what it was like to put water in my cereal because we didn’t have milk, but I thought it was because we couldn’t get to the grocery store.

We did have two cars — a company car for my dad, and his first company car that he bought on the cheap. He was proud of those cars.

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While my dad was pissed that he was going to have to pay a body shop to fix my handiwork, he was angrier that I lied.

WILL HURD, after scratching up his father's car

The second worst whipping of my life

We didn’t have cable, but we had a nice TV, which allowed me to take advantage of the Golden Age of cartoons in the early ’80s. I was especially hooked on the Challenge of the GoBots, about two warring factions of robots that could turn into vehicles. After one riveting episode in 1985, I decided that I needed a new GoBot toy. My father’s blunt response to my entreaty: “You ain’t getting a fucking robot.”

Indignant at this injustice, I stormed out of the house. For some unknown reason, I came to the conclusion that the only remedy was to pick up a rock and, in clear eight-year-old chicken scratch, etch onto the hood of my dad’s company car: “I want Gobot.”

When my dad discovered my declaration, I claimed I wrote it with a clump of dirt and was unaware of a rock hidden inside. The incident resulted in the second-worst whipping I’d received in my life (the first was when the collective disobedience of my siblings and I concluded with my sister cutting up the belt that was my father’s preferred tool to administer consequences). While my dad was pissed that he was going to have to pay a body shop to fix my handiwork, he was angrier that I lied.

I learned that day the consequences of not heeding my father’s advice— physical pain, disappointing someone I loved, and feeling the shame of losing the trust of people I cared about.

With that act, my father gave me my first lesson about being honest and doing the right thing.

American women over the age of 55 with progressive dementia
Americans over the age of 65 with Alzheimers and related dementia
Est. number of Americans with dementia by 2060

The first time I realized my parents weren’t invincible

My dad and mom had started a business, M.A. Beauty Supply (named after my mom), in 1993, after dad retired from Coats & Clark.

My dad saw an opportunity in the Black hair care market. M.A. Beauty Supply sold products such as hair colors and chemical relaxers to beauty salons specializing in serving Black women.

My brother Chuck worked in the business as well, and after a few years, they added a cosmetology school to train hairstylists who could style African American hair.

My mom, who went back to school to get her cosmetologist’s license, conducted training seminars on how to use their products — which led to some strange looks when this White lady showed up to expertly style Black hair.

Dementia and the elderly

For years, my parents enjoyed good health until my mom started showing signs of dementia. I saw her passion for crafts like sewing, knitting, and crocheting start to diminish, and she began forgetting recent conversations and even our family members’ names.

We eventually discovered she had microvascular dementia, a condition common among the elderly. Seeing my mother’s decline and its impact on our family was a painful experience. She went home to her heavenly Father on March 1, 2023.

My parents and their impact on public policy

My personal experiences significantly influenced my decisions as a public official. I proudly cast my vote for the 21st Century Cures Act, which was designed to advance medical research and find cures for various diseases. This act has enabled researchers to fight diseases that often afflict our senior population.

I’ve always been a staunch advocate for strengthening Medicare, with a particular emphasis on Medicare Advantage, which delivers benefits through private insurers. I firmly believe that merely providing care for our seniors isn’t enough – we need to focus on improving care to enhance their quality of life and longevity. The Cures Act has been instrumental in this respect, propelling advancements in fields like cancer prevention and screening, understanding the human brain, and stem cell science.

COVID-19 Deaths in Long Term Care Facilities
Nursing Homes Within 50 Miles of San Antonio, TX
Nursing Homes with a 5 Star Rating

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing homes also deeply concerned me. Despite these facilities housing some of our most vulnerable citizens, I felt not enough action was taken to protect their residents. Many nursing homes failed to uphold the necessary standards, a problem that existed even before the pandemic. Despite oversight from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, only a small number of facilities achieved the highest quality rating.

Throughout the pandemic, I met with various groups advocating for seniors. It was alarming to find that even they had difficulty understanding the situation. They did suggest improving palliative and hospice care training, a recommendation I fully support. I’m convinced that the pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for updates to care standards and that those responsible for nursing homes’ oversight should be held accountable. After all, it’s now our turn to take care of our elders who spent their lives taking care of us.

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American Reboot

An Idealist's Guide to Getting Big Things Done

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About the book

Will draws on his unique experiences in back alleys of dangerous places, boardrooms of international businesses, and the halls of Congress to lay out a detailed plan to “reboot America,” offering a fresh start to a country mired in political divides and internal strife.

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Will Hurd tells a great story about his life and his experiences in the CIA, private business, and as a Congressman.

The book also serves as a playbook for like minded Republicans that want to transform the party from the extremes of Trump back to a solutions based party that actually gets things done.

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This is one of the best books I have ever read. Part personal story, part political analysis, but mainly just common sense thinking and analysis of solutions to problems.

Will Hurd is an amazing writer and person and I expect to see him do great things in the future.

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This was a great read. As someone who tends to identify as an Independent or moderate, I thought Mr. Hurd made some great points and offered thoughtful solutions.

I hope he considers a run for political office again, I'd vote for him in a heartbeat.

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A life long Republican I had lost hope that I would ever vote Republican again after the extremist views have taken over the party over the last 6 years.

This book covered all my values & concerns in a nuanced way that the majority of politicians today seem incapable of doing.

Hurd has the biography and the charisma and the God-given political chops to put the Republican Party — and the rest of the country — on notice.
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America has become an exceptional nation not because of what we have taken but because of what we have given.

Will Hurd

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June 18, 2023
New Cold War Between U.S. and China Explained
Will's op-ed in the The NH Journal about migration and border control.
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About Will

Will Hurd has spent the past 20 years on the front lines of the most pressing fights facing our nation, in the Middle East, Congress, and the highest levels of business and tech.

Will has spent his life fighting for our country, and he will take those decades of experience with him as he fights for all us.

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I dream of an America where we have the smartest kids in the world. Every child in the U.S., regardless of location or age, should have access to a safe, world-class education.


The choice we face

In every decision we make, we stand at a crossroads. The path of division and quick fixes is well-trodden, but it’s time we consider a different route – one paved with unity and foresight.

Imagine an America where common sense prevails, where policies are crafted with the people’s best interests at heart, and our collective strengths are the foundation of national progress.

This is more than a possibility. It’s a choice we can make right now. By coming together, we have the power to foster a nation that champions innovation, inclusivity, and integrity.

What do we agree on?

Believe it’s important to protect free speech
Believe college education is important for success
Support the development of alternative energy sources
Believe it is essential to maintain Social Security
Support background checks for all gun buyers
Believe that LGBTQ+ individuals should have equal rights
Say it is important for the country to do more regarding race inequality
Are unhappy with the current US economy
Believe the federal government doesn't share enough information
Are concerned about pollution of drinking water
Believe the nation's infrastructure is in need of major repairs
Believe that access to affordable housing is a problem
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Hear from People

What’s a modern republican look like?

We’re a nation full of people with these values. If this describes you, you might be a modern Republican.

Respectful and Polite

Strong old school manners. You respect others, and say "please" and "thank you"


You give someone a fair shot


You're ready to put yourself in the shoes of someone else.


No matter street smarts or book smarts, you understand an education is important

Family Values

You put your family above everything and do everything you can to succeed


You take responsibility for your actions and believe in personal responsibility


You help others and you're always quick to smile


You don't let a little hardship get in your way


You know that we're better together and you are ready to help
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