January 23, 2014

Dallas Morning News Endorses John Ratcliffe over Rep. Ralph Hall

ROCKWALL, TEXAS – The Dallas Morning News has endorsed John Ratcliffe over incumbent Ralph Hall for the Republican Primary in the 4th Congressional District of Texas. The marks the first time the newspaper has endorsed a challenger over the 90 year-old incumbent now seeking an 18th term.

“It’s a great honor to receive the endorsement of the Dallas Morning News,” Ratcliffe said. “It validates the sentiment of voters across this district – that it’s simply time for new leadership to fix the mess in Washington.”

Full text of endorsement:

Rep. Ralph Hall, 90, is the oldest person to serve in the U.S. House. By focusing on constituent services and maintaining a consistently conservative record, Hall has been sent to Capitol Hill 17 times by voters in the 4th Congressional District.

Hall, of Rockwall, has said this will be his final campaign, but we’ve heard that before. In 1994, he was “thinking about retiring.” In 1996, he was “99 percent sure I’m going for my last term.” And in 2001, Hall said he would retire after President George W. Bush’s first term.

This newspaper applauds Hall’s long service, but there comes a time when new ideas and fresh energy are needed. Voters have a clear alternative in this Republican primary, particularly given the impressive credentials of challenger John Ratcliffe, 48, a former U.S. attorney and mayor of Heath.
Ratcliffe is just one of five challengers in this primary, the winner of which will face no Democratic opposition in November. But the others — businessman Lou Gigliotti, 64; real estate agent Tony Arterburn, 34; engineering manager Brent Lawson, 49; and investment adviser John Stacy, 33 — lack government experience and seem more focused on ideology than policy.

Ratcliffe, on the other hand, was not only U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas but served as the Department of Justice’s chief of anti-terrorism and national security in that district. A conservative, his familiarity with the federal government came through in our candidate interview, in nuanced views and an understanding of the complexity of issues before Congress. He should be given the opportunity to serve there.

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