John Ratcliffe Ousts 17 Term Incumbent Congressman Ralph Hall, Brian Babin and Will Hurd Also Win

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“Out with the old and in with new” says the Republican voters of congressional district 4

On Tuesday's runoff election, three races for US Congress concluded their nominations. The most notable runoff election was in North-east Texas' Congressional District 4 where former US Attorney John Ratcliffe ousted 17 term incumbent Ralph Hall. Hall, age 91, has served in congress since 1981. He was a very conservative Democrat until 2004 when, in the wake of Tom DeLay's redistricting scheme, he switched parties and became a Republican.

Ratcliffe served as a US Attorney during the Bush administration and was mayor of Heath, in Rockwall County. Both Republicans are very conservative and sought TEA Party endorsements, Ralph Hall was not an incumbent who was being driven out for being squishy on conservative issues. Hall had the support of Ted Cruz, Ron Paul, and Michelle Bachmann while Ratcliffe was supported by The Club for Growth, The Madison Project, and had the endorsement of the Dallas Morning News.  This election became a debate on of if Rep. Hall had been in Washington too long and if he was fit enough to do his job for another two years.

No Democrat filed for the race. Ratcliffe only faces token Libertarian opposition this fall, meaning he has likely been elected at this point.

Republicans also decided who their nominees will be to face off against Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego in District 23 and to replace Steve Stockman in District 36. Learn about them after the jump.In District 23, former Congressman Quico Canseco squared off with former CIA agent Will Hurd. If this sentence sounds familiar, it's because the same two candidates were in a runoff against each other in 2010 for the right to take on incumbent Democrat Ciro Rodriguez. While in 2010, Canseco won the runoff, this time Hurd was the victor. And it was not close, Hurd beat the former congressman by a margin of 59.48% – 40.51%. National Republicans were dismayed at Canseco's inability to raise money for the race. Canseco pulled in a paltry $30,000 for the runoff while Hurd raised three times that.

Pete Gallego, the incumbent Democratic congressman will face off against Hurd in November. District 23 is the most competitive congressional district in Texas, narrowly supporting Mitt Romney while also voting to elect Gallego in 2012.

In District 36, incumbent Republican Steve Stockman decided to bail, and will serve only one term. The race to replace him in the runoff was viewed mostly as contest between a rural and urban candidate. The candidates were dentist and former Woodville mayor Brian Babin and Ben Steausand, a mortgage investor from Houston. Babin ended up winning with just over 57%. While either Republican would have been very conservative and a vast improvement over the unstable Rep. Stockman, Babin was viewed as the more sane option. Babin will face Democrat Michael Cole, Libertarian, and a Green in November.

You can follow me on Twitter at @trowaman.


About Author

Joseph Vogas

Joseph was raised in Friendswood, Texas in North Galveston County. He went on to graduate from the University of North Texas with a degree in Political Science. After working for multiple campaigns, Joseph was able to work in the 83rd legislature in Austin in 2013. While retired from professional campaign work, Joseph enjoys sharing his knowledge of campaign data how to win elections in naturally unfriendly turf with others. Joseph is an avid archer and enjoys all things geek including Star Wars and DC Comics.

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