Texas Politics
1:35 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Ratcliffe pledges to focus on spending, health care

One can forgive John Ratcliffe and his supporters for looking ahead to the former federal attorney's role in Washington, D.C.

Not only does the new Republican nominee for the Texas 4th congressional district seat come from a GOP-dominated district, but he also won't even be facing a Democratic opponent in the general election in November. Instead, Ratcliffe will be on the ballot with Libertarian J.P. Raley and independent Kenneth Lee Kammer in a contest that Democrats have decided to sit out.

John Ratcliffe
John Ratcliffe
Credit KERA

In the Republican primary in March, Ratcliffe came in second in a field of six candidates with 28.8 percent of the vote to 45.4 percent for incumbent Ralph Hall, the longest-serving member of Congress, who began his decades of service in 1992 as a Democrat. Hall first ran as a Republican in 2004. In the May primary runoff, mandated because Hall did not get a majority in March, Ratcliffe defeated Hall with 52.8 percent of the vote.

Ratcliffe, a former federal attorney now in private practice, might end up being a new face in Congress, but he said that one priority for him will be on shared by many existing Republican legislators.

"Having spent time out on the campaign trail, I will tell you the thing that people really want to talk about and they really care about is Obamacare, and they want it gone," Ratcliffe said. "I would work to continue the efforts to repeal, but to replace Obamacare with credible, market-based solutions."

Ratcliffe also said he'd push for a balanced-budget amendment and a spending cap that would limit expenditures to 18 percent of gross domestic product.

In the KETR listening area, Ratcliffe won the primary runoff vote in Collin, Franklin, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Rains, Rockwall, Van Zandt and Wood counties. Hall took the vote in Delta and Fannin counties.