Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

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.”

Ratcliffe’s challenge forced Hall into the May 27 runoff, where a one-on-one race puts the incumbent’s political future in jeopardy. Ratcliffe took 29 percent in the multicandidate March 4 primary, holding Hall to 45 percent — just short of the majority threshold to avoid a runoff.

“There’s a whole bunch of folks in Washington that have stayed too long and promised too much and have become part of the problem that we sent them here to fix,” Ratcliffe said. “And so I am one that would support term limits, support term-limit legislation, and would agree to term-limit myself.”

The seat is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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  • Matt D.

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