Former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe filed at the last minute yesterday as the 5th candidate to challenge 17-term incumbent Ralph Hall for the Republican nomination for Texas’ 4th Congressional District, joining John Stacy, Lou Gigliotti, Brent Lawson, and Tony Arterburn.
Ratcliffe, 48, describes himself as a long-time supporter of Hall, who at 90, is the oldest person to have served in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ratcliffe doesn’t intend to make age an issue, but stated in his press release, “Our country faces enormous challenges, and we need new, energetic leadership to tackle them.”
Ratcliffe told the Dallas Morning News yesterday, “It’ll be up to the voters to decide whether or not a candidate is too old.” He added, “Washington is broken now and fixing problems there is going to take bold and energetic leadership for years to come.”
Ratcliffe earned his Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law. He was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas under President George W. Bush (2007-2008), and prior to that served as Chief of Anti-Terrorism and National Security for the Eastern District of Texas (2004-2007). During that time, he also served four 2-yr terms as mayor of Heath, TX, a small (about 7,000 people), affluent suburb of Dallas on the SE shore of Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall County (2004-2012). During his tenure, the budget was balanced each year, without raising taxes.
Ratcliffe currently works for both The Ashcroft Group, a lobbying and consulting company located inside the Beltway in Arlington, VA, and The Ashcroft Law Firm, located in Kansas City, MO. Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft serves as founder and chairman of both companies.
Ratcliffe promises a “very sophisticated, technology-driven modern campaign.” Indeed, his campaign website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page were all up and running in time for his filing and announcement, showing considerable preparation beforehand. He also predicts he’ll raise more money than the rest of the candidates, including Hall, who is reported to have a campaign treasury of about $175,000.