Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 24, 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.

4th District
Hall had 45 percent of the vote, five points below the threshold to avoid a runoff, when the Associated Press called the race. His GOP opponent, attorney John Ratcliffe, had 30 percent of the vote with 22 percent of precincts reporting.

A Texas Republican operative had ominous words earlier Tuesday for 90-year-old Hall’s political future if he was forced into a runoff.

“My theory is if Ralph has to go to a runoff, he’s already lost,” the Republican said. “If a majority of the electorate votes against him, that’s a serious problem for Ralph Hall.”

Hall announced in December that this was his last race, but he has made that pledge several times before. Still, this cycle was expected to be his toughest re-election challenge in decades.

Ratcliffe ran an organized, self-funded effort. He spent about $400,000 of his own money as of his latest fundraising report.

This race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

23rd District
Former Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco received 41 percent of the vote when the Associated Press called the race, with 58 of precincts reporting. Ex-CIA officer Will Hurd has 40 percent of the vote so far.

The pair will advance to the runoff.

The GOP nominee will face freshman Rep. Pete Gallego, a Democrat, this fall in the Lone Star State’s most competitive House district.

This race is rated Leans Democratic by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

33rd District
In the race for Texas’ 33rd District, Veasey led his opponent with 74 percent of the vote, with 0 percent of precincts reporting at the time the Associated Press called the race.

His Democratic challenger is Tom Sanchez, who spent over $1 million of his own money in an effort to oust Veasey. This race is rated Safe Democrat by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

32nd District
Sessions defeated a tea party rival, Katrina Pierson, who had the backing of FreedomWorks and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in the race for Texas’ 32nd District.

Sessions had 69 percent of the vote when the Associated Press called the race. Pierson had 31 percent of the vote.

Pierson earned national attention for her race, but few Texas Republican operatives said that Sessions faced any real challenge in the primary.

This race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

36th District
Former Woodville Mayor Brian Babin and businessman Ben Streusand will advance to the runoff to succeed Stockman, who ran for Senate.

Babin led a crowded field with 35 percent, with 27 percent of precincts reporting at the time the Associated Press called the race. Streusand trailed him with 24 percent of the vote.

The GOP nominee will all the but certainly win the seat in November.

This race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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