Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 24, 2014

Posts in "Texas"

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

John Cornyn Wins GOP Nomination for Senate in Texas

John Cornyn Wins GOP Nomination for Senate in Texas

Cornyn is seeking a third term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas won the GOP nod outright in his re-election battle, clobbering a congressman and his tea party supporters in the first primary of the midterm elections.

Cornyn had 63 percent of the vote, and Rep. Steve Stockman had 17 percent of the vote, when the Associated Press called the election for the two-term senator. The Senate’s No. 2 Republican cleared the necessary majority threshold to avoid a runoff against Stockman. 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 28, 2014

President Obama Endorses Texas Democrat in Primary Race

President Obama Endorses Texas Democrat in Primary Race

Obama endorsed Veasey ahead of the incumbent's primary on Tuesday (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama endorsed freshman Texas Rep. Marc Veasey in his re-election bid on Friday.

Veasey faces a primary challenge Tuesday in Texas’ 33rd District from Tom Sanchez, a self-funding attorney from the technology sector. Most local Democrats expect Veasey to win, but Sanchez is running a spirited campaign against him in a regionally and ethnically complex district.

In a Veasey campaign release, which included a photo of the pair shaking hands, Obama touted the freshman Democrat on the very issue on which Sanchez has criticized him: immigration. 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

January 10, 2014

Cornyn Goes Up With New TV Ad

Judging by his second ad, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas is running against President Barack Obama instead of his primary challenger, Rep. Steve Stockman.

The new spot hits Obama and portrays Cornyn as the conservative counter to an “astonishingly liberal” president. The ad makes no mention of Stockman.

“He stands up to Obama, everyday. Pushes back,” the narrator says of Cornyn.

The buy size is “well into the six figures” and is a “substantial statewide buy,” according to a Cornyn aide.  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

Club for Growth Passes on Steve Stockman

Club for Growth Passes on Steve Stockman

Cornyn has a primary challenge. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth announced Tuesday it will not support Rep. Steve Stockman’s primary bid to unseat Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

“While Congressman Stockman has a pro-economic growth record, so does Senator Cornyn, as witnessed by his 87% lifetime Club for Growth score,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement. Full story

December 9, 2013

Five GOP Candidates File for Stockman’s House Seat

Five Republicans have filed to run for the unexpectedly open-seat race for GOP Rep. Steve Stockman’s 36th District, according to Texas Republican Party spokesman Spencer Yeldell.

In Texas, the state parties must approve the applications of candidates for public office. After one term back in the House, Stockman shocked Texas Republicans by filing paperwork Monday to challenge Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

The filing deadline passed on Monday, so Stockman’s decision leaves a last-minute, open-seat race for his district northeast of Houston.

The five GOP candidates who filed for the 26th District race are: Full story

November 12, 2013

A Former Congressman’s Under-the-Radar Comeback Bid

A Former Congressmans Under the Radar Comeback Bid

Canseco is running for his former seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco filed his statement of candidacy in December to take back the most competitive House district in the Lone Star State.

But nearly a year later, the Republican’s comeback bid against Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Texas., remains something of a mystery to Texas GOP operatives.

So far, Canseco’s campaign has consisted of low five-figure fundraising reports, a Facebook account that was dormant until August and a handful of campaign emails over the past few months. That same Facebook page advertised his first campaign event on Oct. 13.

The order of events marked one of the softest campaign launches from a former member in recent memory. But in a Tuesday phone interview with CQ Roll Call, Canseco said he was fired up for the race. Full story

October 7, 2013

John Cornyn Airs First Re-Election Campaign Spot

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn may not have a serious primary rival yet in his reliably Republican home state of Texas — but he’s running campaign ads as if he did.

On Monday Cornyn aired his first spot of the cycle, called “Conservative Like Texas.” His campaign made an initial buy of “several hundred thousand dollars,” according to a Cornyn source.

“Our John Cornyn, conservative like you, like Texas,” the narrator declares in the spot.

Full story

August 21, 2013

FreedomWorks Vs. John Cornyn: Round 2 | #TXSEN

FreedomWorks, a national organization aligned with the tea party, took its second shot at Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, this summer as part of a digital advertisement campaign targeting several GOP senators.

The Facebook spots link to a letter that notes “a number of Senators have joined Mike Lee’s efforts to defund ObamaCare.” The Utah Republican’s efforts are essentially a defacto threat to shut down the government if funding for the 2010 health care law is not eliminated.

“Now some are getting cold feet,” FreedomWorks continued. “Senator John Cornyn – one of the original supporters – has bowed to the Republican Establishment and no longer wishes to help Senator Lee. Why is Senator Cornyn withdrawing his support for Mike Lee?”

FreedomWorks Vs. John Cornyn: Round 2 | #TXSEN

Full story

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