Hall Makes History: 1st Texas GOP US Rep to Lose Renomination Bid

Prior to Hall’s runoff loss, 256 straight incumbent Republican U.S. House members from the Lone Star State had launched successful renomination campaigns since 1870

ralphhall11.pngEnding a Texas Republican Party streak that began over 140 years ago, 17-term U.S. Representative Ralph Hall lost his renomination bid in a primary runoff election Tuesday.

Hall was defeated in the runoff by John Ratcliffe, who won with approximately 53 percent of the vote.

Only one other sitting Texas Republican U.S. Representative in history has ever lost his party’s nomination – although technically it was not a renomination bid.

In 1996, Democrat-turned-Republican Congressman Greg Laughlin lost the GOP nomination in a runoff against Ron Paul.

However, Laughlin was never nominated as a Republican in the first instance – elected to Congress for each of his four terms as a Democrat and then switching his affiliation to the GOP in 1995.

Laughlin thus did not seek a “re”-nomination bid in 1996, but instead his first Republican Party nod.

Ralph Hall thus becomes the only sitting Republican U.S. House member from Texas to unsuccessfully seek renomination to his or her seat out of 257 attempts since statehood.

Congressman Joe Barton (1985-present) holds the Texas record for the Republican Party with 15 successful renomination bids.

Fellow delegation member Lamar Smith (1987-present) is tied for second with W.R. Archer (1971-2001) at 14.

Next is Sam Johnson (1991-present) with 12 followed by Tom DeLay (1985-2006) at 11, and Mac Thornberry (1995-present) and Ron Paul (1976-1977; 1979-1985; 1997-2013) with 10 each.

Twenty-four of the 52 Republicans from Texas to serve in the chamber are members of the state’s current delegation.

In addition to Hall, Steve Stockman will also not be back in January 2015 after his failed primary challenge to Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn in March.

Of the remaining Republicans who previously exited the chamber:

· Ten lost the general election: Edward Degener (1870-1871), George Whitmore (1870-1871), George Noonan (1895-1897), Ben Guill (1950-1951), Bruce Alger (1955-1965), Ed Foreman (1963-1965), Bob Price (1967-1975), Mac Sweeney (1985-1989), Henry Bonilla (1993-2007), and Quico Canseco (2011-2013). In addition, Ron Paul (in 1976) and Steve Stockman (1996) lost general election contests during their first stints in the chamber.

· Five ran for the U.S. Senate: George H.W. Bush (1967-1971), James Collins (1968-1983), Alan Steelman (1973-1977), Phil Gramm (1983-1985), and Beau Boulter (1985-1989). In addition, Ron Paul (in 1984) and Steve Stockman (2014) launched failed Senate bids during their second stints in the U.S. House.

· Five did not run for reelection: Robert Hawley (1897-1901), Jack Fields (1981-1997), W.R. Archer (1971-2001), Dick Armey (1985-2003), and Ron Paul (ending his third stint in 2012).

· Three resigned: Steve Bartlett (1983-1991), Larry Combest (1985-2003), and Tom DeLay (1985-2006)

· One died: Harry Wurzbach (1921-1929; 1930-1931; Wurzbach had a break in service due to a contested election, which he later won)

· One lost an election contest: William Clark (1870-1872)

· One ran for governor: Tom Loeffler (1979-1987)

· One lost a general election while simultaneously winning a seat via special election: Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (2006-2007)

· One switched parties and then lost the Republican nomination: Greg Laughlin (1989-1997)

With his victory Tuesday, Ratcliffe becomes the 17th second-place primary finisher in a Texas Republican U.S. House race to come back and win the runoff election since 1992.

Democrats did not field a candidate in the 4th CD race this cycle so Ratcliffe will be opposed only by Libertarian nominee J.P. Raley.

Renomination Bids for Sitting Texas Republican U.S. Representatives Since Statehood

US Representative
Years in U.S. House
GOP renom. bids
GOP renom. wins
Joe Barton
1985-present
15
15
W.R. Archer
1971-2001
14
14
Lamar Smith
1987-present
14
14
Sam Johnson
1991-present
12
12
Tom DeLay
1985-2006
11
11
Ron Paul
1976-1977; 1979-1985; 1997-2013
10
10
Mac Thornberry
1995-present
10
10
Larry Combest
1985-2003
9
9
Kevin Brady
1997-present
9
9
Kay Granger
1997-present
9
9
Pete Sessions
1997-present
9
9
Dick Armey
1985-2003
8
8
James Collins
1968-1983
7
7
Jack Fields
1981-1997
7
7
Henry Bonilla
1993-2007
7
7
John Culberson
2001-present
7
7
Michael Burgess
2003-present
6
6
John Carter
2003-present
6
6
Jeb Hensarling
2003-present
6
6
Randy Neugebauer
2003-present
6
6
Ralph Hall
1981-present
6
5
Harry Wurzbach
1921-1929; 1930-1931
5
5
Bruce Alger
1955-1965
5
5
Mike Conaway
2005-present
5
5
Louie Gohmert
2005-present
5
5
Kenny Marchant
2005-present
5
5
Michael McCaul
2005-present
5
5
Ted Poe
2005-present
5
5
Bob Price
1967-1975
4
4
Steve Bartlett
1983-1991
4
4
Thomas Loeffler
1979-1987
3
3
Pete Olson
2009-present
3
3
Mac Sweeney
1985-1989
2
2
Blake Farenthold
2011-present
2
2
Bill Flores
2011-present
2
2
Edward Degener
1870-1871
1
1
George Whitmore
1870-1871
1
1
William Clark
1870-1872
1
1
George Noonan
1895-1897
1
1
Robert Hawley
1897-1901
1
1
Ben Guill
1950-1951
1
1
Ed Foreman
1963-1965
1
1
George Bush
1967-1971
1
1
Alan Steelman
1973-1977
1
1
Beau Boulter
1985-1989
1
1
Steve Stockman
1995-1997; 2013-present
1
1
Quico Canseco
2011-2013
1
1
Randy Weber
2013-present
1
1
Roger Williams
2013-present
1
1
Phil Gramm
1983-1985
0
0
Shelley Sekula-Gibbs
2006-2007
0*
0
Greg Laughlin
1989-1997
0**
0
Total
 
257
256

* Gibbs won a special election and lost the general election the same day so was never an incumbent U.S. Representative seeking renomination. ** Laughlin switched from the Democratic to Republican parties in the middle of his fourth term and thus had never received a Republican nomination to his seat. Table compiled by Smart Politics.

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