Republican county and precinct chairs in Texas’ 4th Congressional District have elected state Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper) to replace former Rep. John Ratcliffe as the GOP nominee on November’s ballot.
Fallon is currently the state senator for Senate District 30, which he was elected to in 2018 after serving in the Texas House of Representatives for two terms.
He will face Democratic opponent Russell Foster in the district that votes for Republicans 28 percent more often than the average U.S. congressional district, according to a Cook Partisan Voting Index analysis.
Lou Antonelli, a Libertarian, is also running for the seat.
After Ratcliffe was nominated by the president to be the Director of National Intelligence and confirmed by the Senate in May, he resigned, leaving the seat vacant.
Under state election code, the Republican Party of Texas was required to organize a Congressional District Executive Committee (CDEC) to select Ratcliffe’s replacement on the ticket.
The CDEC was made up of over 100 county and precinct chairs in the district who met at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center in Sulphur Springs on Saturday to choose a new nominee.
Prior to the meeting in the afternoon, Fallon met with many of the delegates alongside many other state lawmakers and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has supported Fallon as part of his “Cruz 20 for 20 Victory Fund.”
Fallon was also endorsed by a long list of elected officials in the Texas legislature.
Delegates sat at the front of the auditorium in socially-distanced seats.
The room was capped at 50 percent, which was still plenty of room for the 143 out of 153 delegates who were present.
Before the invocation and pledges, a letter was read from the family of a candidate, Fifth District Court of Appeals Justice David Bridges, who tragically died in a car accident while campaigning.
Near the beginning of the meeting, the Rules Committee of the CDEC presented a plan for voting wherein if no candidate won a majority of votes outright, then a second round of voting would begin that would include at least the top four candidates.
The proposed rules also stipulated that in order for a candidate to be nominated and considered by the delegates, they would have to receive both a nomination and a second.
Motions were made to strike the requirement for a second and change the voting method, but all the CDEC voted down all motions and approved the proposed rules nearly unanimously — save for one nay vote that was met with a roar of laughter.
A plethora of candidates had expressed interest in running for the seat, but ultimately only 12 were nominated at the meeting:
- Rodney Adams;
- Casey Campbell;
- State Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper);
- Aaron Harris, chief of staff for Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX-05);
- Steve Gorman:
- Trace Johannessen, city councilman in Rockwall;
- Jim Pruitt, mayor of Rockwall;
- Travis Ransom, mayor of Atlanta;
- Zach Rateliff;
- Jason Ross, former district chief of staff for Ratcliffe;
- Robert West; and
- Bob Worthen.
No candidate who received a nomination failed to receive a second.
After the candidates each gave three-minute-long speeches, the CDEC began its first and only round of voting.
145 total ballots were cast, with 73 needed for an outright win. In the first round of voting, Fallon received 82. Ross trailed in a distant second with 34, and Ransom received 16.
Fallon thanked supporters, and pledged to work with his opponents.
“I want to work with Robert West, and I want to work with all the candidates. Because we need to thrash socialists in November,” said Fallon. “We need to make sure that we run the score up in CD 4 so we can help President Trump carry this state and save our country, and we only have a few months left to do that.”
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.