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Conservative Groups Rally Behind Ralph Hall Challenger in Texas (Updated)

Ratcliffe is challenging Hall, a Republican from Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:20 a.m. | The Club for Growth and the Madison Project, two conservative groups, announced Tuesday  endorsements of attorney John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican who pushed Rep. Ralph M. Hall into a May 27 primary runoff.  

"Like Senator Ted Cruz, John Ratcliffe understands that the big spenders in both parties have led us to $17 trillion in debt, and he’ll stand up for pro-growth policies in Washington," club president Chris Chocola said in a release.  

“John Ratcliffe has actually accomplished what so many conservative candidates desire by drawing one of the longest serving establishment incumbents into a competitive runoff,” said Madison Project political director Drew Ryun in a separate statement released earlier on Tuesday. “After getting to know Mr. Ratcliffe, it isn’t surprising that he is shaking up the political system."  

Earlier in the primary, it was not clear whether Ratcliffe would receive support from these kinds of conservative groups, who sometimes back challengers to incumbents.  

Also, back in a February with Roll Call, Ratcliffe did not completely embrace the tea party moniker.  

"I think labels are for Washington insiders," he said. "I think the people in the district here will judge me by my record of experience and leadership on the issue. And I’ll be honest with you, I think my record is one that will appeal to tea party people, and to mainstream Republicans and to independents.”  

Also, Hall, a 17-term incumbent is not exactly a moderate. He holds a 76 percent lifetime rating with the club, and he was not previously listed on the group's Primary My Congressman webpage as part of its efforts to oust incumbents.  

Whomever wins that race is all-but-certain to carry the district in the fall. This race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.