John Ratcliffe, Republican candidate for Congress in Texas’ 4th congressional district, authored this opinion piece recently, and we’re re-publishing it here with permission. One could make the case that it would qualify as a press release or even advertising, but in the end, it’s useful information for anyone who plans to vote in that race. I’ve contacted Rep. Hall’s campaign several times asking for similar information, and will publish any news releases or op-eds they send.
U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) is a good man and a patriot. He ably served our country in the military and has served admirably in Congress.
Today Ralph Hall is asking the voters of Texas’ 4th congressional district to return him to Washington for an 18th term.
Hall first ran for office in 1949. He has been running for office ever since.
I believe that public service is a noble calling.
I served in the Bush administration as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. I also served as a four-term Mayor of my hometown of Heath, Texas in Rockwall County. Public service has been a big part of my life.
But our Founding Fathers never intended for our elected representatives to become a permanent ruling class of professional politicians. We have too many career politicians in both parties in Washington who stay too long and become a part of the problem they were sent to fix.
I believe that we need to get back to a citizen-legislator system and this requires individual leadership.
I term-limited myself as Mayor of Heath and I will do the same in Congress.
I intend to serve with boldness, energy and focus for no more than eight years and then return home to private life. I will not go to Washington and never leave.
Congressman Hall has given lip service to term limits for a long time, but he has never followed through.
The Dallas Morning News summarized Hall’s repeated term limit promises like this:
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.
Many candidates refuse to term limit themselves, because they want to climb the ladder, preserving the opportunity to win a leadership position or chair a committee.
This is not my motivation. I will never put the next election ahead of the next generation.
I am deeply concerned about the direction of our country. I believe we need to act with urgency to turn the country around. I could not care less about being part of the club or climbing the ladder.
Outstanding conservative leaders like Jeb Hensarling, Trey Gowdy, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee have shown that you can have a positive impact quickly and I will look to follow that example.
Two-term U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) had a huge impact and term-limited himself. U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is doing the same, opting to leave two years early at the end of this year. Leaders relinquish power because they understand that power is not theirs, but temporarily granted to them by the people, in our system of government.
I believe that in order to get better results, we must have better leadership.
Individual term limits are an important way to advance a citizen legislature and return to a government rooted in the concept of “we the people.”