Dallas-area Congressman John Ratcliffe will officially be leaving Congress after the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination by President Donald Trump to serve as the new Director of National Intelligence.
Ratcliffe’s road to confirmation has indeed been a long one. First offered the position in July of 2019, Ratcliffe declined after a week. At the time, Trump said he had withdrawn his name in order to avoid “going through months of slander and libel” by the media.
But in a surprise announcement in February, Trump renominated Ratcliffe to the post, saying that he “would have completed process earlier, but John wanted to wait until after IG Report was finished.”
Confirmation came on a 49-44 party-line vote from the U.S. Senate on Thursday.
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. Before Ratcliffe won the 2014 Republican primary, the district had been held by the late Congressman Ralph Hall for more than 30 years. Hall was a 17-term incumbent when Ratcliffe unseated him.
With Ratcliffe now leaving his congressional seat after being renominated in the March Republican primary election, it will be up to precinct chairs in his district to place another candidate on the November ballot.
Whoever they choose will have big shoes to fill. Ratcliffe was a strong conservative member of Congress known for a solid voting record, a strong defense of Donald Trump, and the rule of law during the president’s impeachment trial. He had been endorsed for re-election by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.
Congressional District 4 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.