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September 15, 2014

Posts in "Texas-4"

May 27, 2014

Texas Runoff Results: First Incumbent of 2014 Loses Re-Election (Updated)

Texas Runoff Results: First Incumbent of 2014 Loses Re Election (Updated)

Hall lost re-election Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Updated 11:42 p.m. | Rep. Ralph M. Hall, R-Texas, lost his bid for an 18th term Tuesday night, making him the first incumbent to not win re-election in 2014.

Attorney John Ratcliffe defeated Hall with 52 percent of the vote. Hall had 48 percent when the AP called the race with 66 percent of precincts reporting.

Ratcliffe is all-but-certain to hold this seat for Republicans in the fall. Full story

First Incumbent Could Lose in Tuesday’s Texas Runoff (Video)

First Incumbent Could Lose in Tuesdays Texas Runoff (Video)

Hall has said this will be his final re-election bid. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Could Ralph Hall be saying goodbye to Congress Wednesday morning? It’s fight night in Texas and that’s the biggest question of Tuesday’s runoff.

Most of the political excitement in the Lone Star State is expected to take place in state races. Even though tea-party-aligned candidates hit recent road blocks in GOP primaries in federal races, anti-establishment conservative candidates are expected to dominate state-level politics Tuesday evening in Texas.

But in that shadow, there are a few House race runoffs with the potential to impact Capitol Hill — especially in Texas’ 4th District. After Republican Rep. Ralph M. Hall failed to win the majority of the vote in the March primary, he faces the fight of his career to return to Congress.

Lone Star State polls close at 9 p.m. EST (this cycle’s complete political calendar is available on CQ Roll Call’s Primary Chart).

Full story

May 23, 2014

Campaign Spot-Light: Age Resurfaces in Primary Ads

This is Roll Call’s weekly installment of the most interesting individual spots or trends we noticed in Senate and House political advertising.

A couple of months ago, we noted that campaigns included dated music from another era in ads to illustrate just how long a politician has been on the scene.

Of late, we’ve seen campaigns revisit this concept. But instead of disco and hippie music, we see candidates deploy euphemisms as weapons against incumbents older than 70. The ads share similarities — they mention age or length of time in office, and often they overlay a graphic of the U.S. Capitol as they state specifics on age.

Here are three ads that broke through the clutter on this front in recent weeks: Full story

May 17, 2014

Congress Races to Ralph Hall’s (Financial) Aid

Congress Races to Ralph Halls (Financial) Aid

Hall received financial aid from his friends on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rarely are Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and John A. Boehner of Ohio publicly on the same side of a GOP primary campaign. But a band of geographically and ideologically diverse Republicans are rallying behind Texas Rep. Ralph M. Hall, who is in danger of becoming the first incumbent defeated in 2014 later this month.

Hall’s political trouble initially caught many off-guard. Texas House members offered plenty of moral support in the days and weeks after Hall failed to secure the nomination in the March 4 primary. But, according to Hall’s recent fundraising reports, including his pre-runoff report filed May 15, his colleagues have backed up that talk over the past couple of months.

Nearly every Republican member of the Texas delegation, including Sen. John Cornyn, has donated to Hall’s campaign, which brought in $401,000 from April 1 to May 7, including a $100,000 loan from the candidate. Some members made multiple donations through both their campaigns and leadership PACs.

Full story

May 7, 2014

91-Year-Old Congressman’s Birthday Gift? A New Ad From His Challenger

Former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe didn’t overlook that his GOP primary rival, Rep. Ralph M. Hall of Texas, had a birthday last week.

“At 91, Ralph Hall has served admirably,” Ratcliffe said in his first television ad in the runoff for the GOP nomination in Texas’ 4th District. “But after four decades in Washington, the problems are getting worse, not better.”

“It’s time for leaders to focus on the next generation, not the next election.”

March 26, 2014

Texas Delegation Rallies to Get Ralph Hall One Final Term

Texas Delegation Rallies to Get Ralph Hall One Final Term

Rep. William "Mac" Thornberry, R-Texas, left, walks with Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ralph M. Hall is in a Texas-sized heap of political trouble — and it’s mostly of the 90-year-old Republican’s own doing.

Over the winter, the 17-term incumbent ignored danger signs in his bid for re-election, namely that a self-funding rival was outspending him in a primary. That candidate, attorney John Ratcliffe, has forced Hall into a May 27 runoff.

Now Texas House Republicans are scrambling to help Hall, who has vowed this will be his final campaign. Full story

March 25, 2014

Conservative Groups Rally Behind Ralph Hall Challenger in Texas (Updated)

Conservative Groups Rally Behind Ralph Hall Challenger in Texas (Updated)

Ratcliffe is challenging Hall, a Republican from Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:20 a.m. | The Club for Growth and the Madison Project, two conservative groups, announced Tuesday  endorsements of attorney John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican who pushed Rep. Ralph M. Hall into a May 27 primary runoff.

“Like Senator Ted Cruz, John Ratcliffe understands that the big spenders in both parties have led us to $17 trillion in debt, and he’ll stand up for pro-growth policies in Washington,” club president Chris Chocola said in a release.

“John Ratcliffe has actually accomplished what so many conservative candidates desire by drawing one of the longest serving establishment incumbents into a competitive runoff,” said Madison Project political director Drew Ryun in a separate statement released earlier on Tuesday. Full story

March 21, 2014

How to Tell Voters Their Congressman Is Old

Rep. Ralph M. Hall, R-Texas, is really old.

And in case northeast Texas voters don’t know that already, a GOP super PAC wants to remind them.

Now or Never PAC released an advertisement Thursday that featured disco music, a picture of President Jimmy Carter and a narrator declaring, “Now he’s 90, the oldest member in Congress ever!”

Hall is in a dogfight of a runoff against another Republican, attorney John Ratcliff, on May 27.

Full story

March 14, 2014

Ralph Hall Challenger Commits to Term Limits

The Republican primary challenger to longtime Texas Rep. Ralph M. Hall says 4th District voters should not expect a Hall-length tenure from him if elected.

Just more than two months out from their primary runoff showdown, attorney John Ratcliffe said in an interview with CQ Roll Call that he not only supports a congressional term limit but would self-impose one if he wins the seat.

Ratcliffe has committed to serving only “four to five” terms in the House, a stark contrast to Hall’s career. The 90-year-old congressman, who has said this will be his last race, is finishing up his 17th term this year.

“I was mayor of a town that did not have term limits, but I term-limited myself,” Ratcliffe said. “I believe that our founders never intended for there to be a permanent political class.”

Full story

March 4, 2014

Ralph Hall Heads to Runoff; Sessions, Veasey Defeat Primary Challengers

Rep. Ralph M. Hall, R-Texas, will face a late-spring runoff against a self-funded primary challenger.

As election results poured into the Lone Star State on Tuesday night, it was clear that freshman Rep. Marc Veasey, a Democrat, and Rep. Pete Sessions, a Republican, would be all-but-certain to return to Congress for another term.

Across the state, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, easily defeated Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas. There will be a runoff for Stockman’s seat in the 36th District.

All primary runoff races will take place on May 27. Full story

Ralph Hall’s Jiujitsu Advertising Move

On Nov. 27, 2012, Rep. Ralph M. Hall became the oldest person to cast a vote  in Congress. Fifteen months later, that milestone is a campaign issue, and Hall is attempting to swing it his way.

Hall faces off Tuesday against a self-funded Republican rival, attorney John Ratcliffe. In case voters weren’t already aware of Hall’s age, Ratcliffe drove the point home with an ad released last week.

Titled ”A New Generation of Conservative Leadership,” the narrator uses terms including “energy,” “passion” and “new” (five times).

Full story

Texas: What to Watch in the First Primaries of 2014

Texas: What to Watch in the First Primaries of 2014

(By Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The nation’s first primary election of the 2014 cycle arrives today, and Lone Star State campaigns have braced themselves for low turnout thanks to unusually frigid weather.

Or as they say in some parts of Texas, it’s colder than a tin toilet in the Yukon.

Few places are prepared to handle ice and 30-degree temperatures, which could keep voters at home. As a result, many campaigns predict early voting and early media buys will have an outsized influence on the primaries.

A candidate must receive a majority of the vote to win Tuesday’s primary outright. Otherwise, the top two candidates will advance to a May 27 runoff.

Polls close at 8 p.m. EST. Here are six things to watch as results come in: Full story

February 12, 2014

Ralph Hall Braces for ‘Final’ Primary Challenge

Ralph Hall Braces for Final Primary Challenge

Hall has vowed this will be his final re-election campaign. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Texas Rep. Ralph M. Hall, the oldest member of Congress, has promised this will be his final campaign.

He’s said it before — several times, in fact — and gone on to run again anyway. But this time, some Texas operatives think the 17-term Republican incumbent could very well be running his last race, though not by choice. Full story

December 21, 2013

Ralph Hall Pledges to Retire After Next Term

Ralph Hall Pledges to Retire After Next Term

Hall is a Republican from Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ralph M. Hall, R-Texas, pledged Friday to retire after next term, assuming he wins re-election, according to The Rockwall Herald-Banner.

“I have had the privilege of serving the people of Rockwall and East Texas for some time,” he said in Rockwall, per the paper. “I look forward to campaigning for re-election the next couple of months and serving one final term in Congress.” Full story

December 10, 2013

Texas Filing Deadline Solidifies 2014 Contests

Sen. John Cornyn is not the only Texas Republican to face a race in 2014. Several House members will face challenges within their own party this March, or competitive races this November.

The filing deadline passed on Monday evening to run for Congress from the Lone Star State. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, served up the biggest surprise with his last-minute challenge to Cornyn.

“He obviously was going to be looking at a difficult race in his own congressional seat, so he decided to try something different,” Cornyn said Tuesday at the Capitol. “He wasn’t on my radar screen, but neither were the other five or so other people who filed in … the primary and the other five or so who filed in the general.”

Stockman faces an extremely difficult path to the GOP nomination. But so could a couple of his House colleagues seeking re-election. Here are some of the more interesting races:

Full story

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