President Donald Trump announced he will nominate Republican U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (TX-4) for Director of National Intelligence. If confirmed, Ratcliffe would succeed Dan Coats as the head of all United States intelligence agencies.

Ratcliffe, the third term congressman from Northeast Texas, formerly served as the Mayor of Heath and as a U.S. Attorney before being elected to represent Texas’ 4th Congressional District in 2014. The district, before Ratcliffe won the 2014 Republican primary, had been held by the late Congressman Ralph Hall for more than 30 years, a 17-term incumbent at the time Ratcliffe unseated him.

President Trump made the announcement on Twitter Sunday afternoon, thanking current Director Dan Coats for his service and announcing he would be departing in the middle of August.

Republicans hold a 53-vote majority in the U.S. Senate for the ongoing 116th Congress, all but assuring Ratcliffe will be confirmed to the post easily. The more interesting shakeup could come here at home rather than in Washington, as many within the district will look at running for the seat. The 4th Congressional District, like many other safely Republican Texas congressional districts, has rarely traded hands.

Ratcliffe’s district encompasses a stretch of Red River counties north of Dallas; Rockwall County just east of Dallas; and most of the northeast corner of the state, including Texarkana.

Ratcliffe had not seen a serious competitor since defeating Hall.

Destin Sensky

Destin Sensky serves as a Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard covering the Texas Legislature, working to bring Texans the honest and accurate coverage they need to hold their elected officials in Austin accountable.


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