Selecting one person out of nearly two dozen candidates, consistent metrics point to Atlanta mayor as best qualified
COMMENTARY: This afternoon (Saturday, Aug. 8), up to 158 Republican Party elected leaders will meet in Sulphur Springs, TX, and determine who will replace former Congressman John Ratcliffe on the November ballot in a district Donald Trump carried by over 53 percentage points in 2016.
The 4th congressional district of Texas House seat became vacant when Congressman Ratcliffe was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in late May to be President Trump’s director of national intelligence, and Ratcliffe resigned the seat on May 22.
Since following this race in late May and recalling how then Congressman John Ratcliffe recommended IL-14 voters support one of the Republican candidates in the 7-person field earlier this year, McHenry County Blog returns the favor and I support Travis Ransom to replace John Ratcliffe.
Since Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) declined to call a special election, the general election ballot spot for the Republican nominee must be filled without direct voting of primary voters. The Republican Party of Texas back in May identified the TX-04 Congressional District Executive Committee (CDEC), made up of elected county chairs and precinct chairs, will meet on August 8 in Sulphur Springs, which is as close as a geographical population center in the largely rural district.
Unlike Illinois, county party chairs are elected by popular vote in the primary, as well as precinct chairs (in IL, precinct committeeperson). Also unlike Illinois, there will be no weighted vote among the CDEC members. All balloting will be one-person, one-vote and the eventual congressional nominee must garner a majority of the voting CDEC members present.
The CDEC meeting begins at 1PM CDT, and given nearly 2 dozen individuals have expressed interest, expect multiple ballots.
Travis Ransom Best Qualified by Metrics
Those who’ve read McHenry County Blog will know discernment is applied in anything political, and with discernment, out of an outstanding field where nearly every person who’ve been openly talking about their candidacies, Mr. Ransom, who’s mayor of Atlanta near the Arkansas border, has distinguished himself on many counts.
Mayor Ransom is one of many Veterans to step forward to serve his country again, this time in the halls of Congress. A 23-year Veteran of U.S. Army Counterintelligence and attaining the rank of command Sergeant Major, Ransom has experience which would be useful in the House, particularly in Homeland Security.
Ransom also laid out his policy platform in early July, and made it accessible for voters through social media. While the TX-04 is a predominately rural district, one of the planks of Ransom’s platform is broadband access for all residents of the district.
Impressive, but many of the candidates for TX-04 have significant experience in the service and on core conservative issues like the 2nd Amendment and Right-to-Life not much separates the candidates.
So now, apply metrics. The winning candidate who will attain the nomination and likely election to Congress do not need to raise a lot of money, as the goal today is to convince a majority of CDEC members of no more than 158, and that assumes all will show up this afternoon in Sulphur Springs.
But the serious candidate should show they can raise money, and once the seat was vacated in May, here is how the Republicans fared according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) raising money:
From the numbers and the major Republican candidates above, Ransom has raised nearly $50K, and has nearly $43K on hand through July 19. The successful candidate doesn’t have to have the most money, but must have enough, and Ransom, and many of his Republican competitors have shown they can raise money.
So, with eight Republican candidates going into today who’ve filed FEC campaign disclosure reports, all of them have qualified, under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (EIGA), to be required to file Financial Disclosure (FD) statements, so let’s see who’s filed with the House clerk’s office:
Now, genuine separation among the TX-04 Republican candidates for CDEC members to consider based on this metric!
As discussed often on this blog, once a congressional candidate raises (including from themself) and/or spends $5K or more, within 30 days, an FD or an extension must be filed, and the intent of the EIGA is voters, and in this case, CDEC members, can review the FD prior to voting, in this case on August 8.
Only Mayor Ransom has complied with federal law, the EIGA for congressional candidates. Compare the FEC list with the House clerk’s list, and several Republicans did not comply with the law, even through all of them raised/spent over $5K.
The other Republican on the House clerk’s website search result, state Senator Pat Fallon has been mentioned on McHenry County Blog a month ago when he was formally endorsed by Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX) as part of the “20 for 20” Republican congressional candidates slate.
While Senator Fallon was granted an extension to August 30, which he applied for on July 17, with his initial due date of July 31, the House Ethics office messed up, because an extension should not have been granted since the CDEC voting takes place August 8. Senator Fallon received it, and under the error of the House Ethics office, he has until August 30 to submit his FD and have it posted, and made public, on the House clerk’s website.
But the letter of the EIGA law applied goes around the intent of the law, which is to provide full financial disclosure, transparency for voters, in this case CDEC to review. Ransom, who filed his FD on June 23, is the only Republican to apply full disclosure of himself for CDEC members to review in compliance with federal law.
By metrics, Ransom wins my support, and CDEC members urged to apply this important metric of full transparency and disclosure to their important decision.
McHenry County Blog thanks the candidates who have talked with me, directly or indirectly, over the past 2 1/2 months. Candidates who’ve been willing to talk about their candidacies, and answer tough questions on important federal issues that impact all Americans, makes the CDEC vote today important to all of the country, though most important in TX-04.
- Floyd McLendon, thank you for your service to our country in the United States Navy for 25 years, 15 of those years as a Navy SEAL. A bright future in politics awaits you, especially you were raised on the south side of Chicago.
- Casey C. Campbell, thank you for stepping up to run, a Millennial attorney who studied under Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and who worked for Congressman Sam Johnson (R, TX-03, 1991-2019). Remembering helping Sam in his successful congressional run in special election of 1991 brings back memories.
- Trace Johannesen, who enlisted in the United States Marine Corps right after 9/11, served our country honorably, and successful business consultant and 2-term Rockwall City Council member, you have a bright future serving the church, your family raising 5 children and community and at 42, has plenty of time to do greater things God willing.
Mr. Johannesen engaged the community the most on social media, including weekly podcasts, email newsletters and taking questions and appearing on various podcasts, including Patriots In Tune and others local to north Texas.
It was through Mr. Johannesen I learned how one of the men who was to be considered for the nomination today, Texas Appellate Court Justice David Bridges, was killed suddenly by a drunk driver going the wrong way on Interstate 30 in Royse City. Johannesen’s note days it best:
I have roots to Texas, growing up in north Texas, family farm within TX-04 (east of Gilmer, near Sand Hill in Upshur County) and my wife and I still own property within the district. When/if we will resettle there, God only knows.
But one does not have to own property within a congressional district to care who represents it, especially when a member of Congress votes impacts us all.
We thank the CDEC members for considering this endorsement of Atlanta Mayor Travis Ransom and may God guide your ultimate decision.
- Travis Ransom FD (filed 6/23/20): https://disclosures-clerk.house.gov/public_disc/financial-pdfs/2020/10036466.pdf