SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — A Texas state senator was chosen Saturday as the GOP nominee for John Ratcliffe’s former seat in Congress that he vacated to become President Donald Trump’s director of national intelligence.
GOP activists in the rural and heavily Republican 4th Congressional District picked state Sen. Pat Fallon in a party meeting in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
The 4th Congressional district includes Bowie, Cass, Marion, Morris, Titus and Upshur Counties in East Texas, along with 12 other surrounding counties.
Choosing the nominee fell to a group called the congressional district executive committee because Ratcliffe’s confirmation to the intelligence post came after the March primary elections in Texas.
Trump nominated Ratcliffe just months after abruptly ending an earlier effort to install him amid bipartisan criticism that the Texas Republican was unqualified for the post. A sharply divided Senate confirmed Ratcliffe in May, with Democrats unanimously opposing him over fears that he would politicize the intelligence community’s work.
Fallon will face Democrat Russell Foster in a race that is not expected to be competitive. Ratcliffe won reelection in the district with more than 75% of the vote in 2018.
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Fallon was a member of the 1988 National Championship Football Team under Coach Lou Holtz. A native of Pittsfield, Mass., he relocated to Denton County, Texas in the early 1990s.
Fallon served in the Texas House of Representatives from 2013-2019 and was elected to the Texas State Senate in November 2018 and took office in 2019. He is married to the former Susan Garner and they have two sons.