WE NEED MORE Will Hurd.

In an age of dishonesty, mistrust, disrespect, corruption and divisive tribalism more extreme than any time I can remember in my lifetime, America is yearning for something better.

People are discouraged and burdened. We are exhausted by the daily barrage of bitter, partisan bickering that sucks the integrity right out of our elected representatives, leaving them withering shells of hypocrisy and deceit.

We yearn for a return to some indefinable, bygone era of honor and dignity that we are all convinced once existed, but can’t quite put our finger on when and where. We are certain that we were once led by principled public servants but scratch our heads in confusion as we listen to what amounts to little more than cackling and sniggering from Congressmen on cable TV.

It is no wonder that fewer and fewer people trust those in Washington, much less respect them.

On May 3, Rep. Will Hurd, a Republican from Texas who represents the 23rd District, which includes over a third of the Mexican-American border, came to New Hampshire and spoke with, among others, those who had gathered for a meeting of the national board of directors of the Log Cabin Republicans.

Hurd grew up in San Antonio, went to public schools, served as student body president at Texas A&M and has an impressive post-school resume, including nearly 10 years as an undercover officer in the CIA, serving in the Middle East and South Asia. He is the only African American Republican in the House and is the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee.

He says the most important part of his job is constituent services – you know, actually serving the public – and in addition to the usual flag and tour requests, his congressional website lists “student resources” for young people needing help gaining access to college, loans and repayment plans.

A conservative who believes in cutting taxes, spending and regulations, he has developed a record of standing up to, and speaking out against, the President on border security and immigration reform, undermining our national security agencies and for embracing Vladimir Putin.

He also cosponsored the USA Act, a bill that laid out a bipartisan solution to immigration and border security reform. It included 48 cosponsors from both parties and offered conservative, compassionate and secure solutions to the problems we face at the border.

However, under both Democrat and Republican leadership, the bill has been a refused a vote. Solving problems, it seems, is no longer a congressional priority, a perfect example of what is wrong in Washington today.

On this day, Hurd’s message was reinvigorating and uplifting, offering an inspirational reminder of the founding principles of the Republican Party. He was direct and unabashed in diagnosing the ills that ail us. Want to be a bigger, better party, he asked. Then don’t be a racist, don’t be a misogynist, don’t be homophobic, don’t be an Islamophobe. He answered his own question.

With a President who views every person who dares criticize him as a mortal enemy and political parties who prioritize destroying the other over preserving a great nation, real leadership is hard to come by. New Hampshire is lucky in that Gov. Chris Sununu has been equally willing to stand up and speak up for what is right, including advancing equal, civil rights for the LGBT community, and an immovable defense of New Hampshire’s tax-free status.

It’s not easy, but Sununu has taken slings and arrows from both the right and the left and, like Hurd, has been reelected. Not in spite of his integrity, but because of it.

In a political environment where collaborative problem solving is rejected and basic decency mocked by an adolescent President, Will Hurd sets a higher standard and in doing so, offers a salve for the wounded psyche of a tired nation.

Be decent. Be kind. Be honest. Be civil. Be dignified.

At the most basic level, America needs more decency from our elected leaders. America needs more Will Hurd.

Former state Republican Party chair Jennifer Horn is active in political and civic affairs.