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CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.
District Profile from Politics in America
The 4th begins in Dallas' eastern and northern suburbs before moving east to less-populated and rural areas in the northeastern corner of the state. The district extends along the Oklahoma and Arkansas borders, taking in Texarkana, but its five western counties contain about two-thirds of the population. It has Texas' second-highest percentage of white residents (72 percent) and lowest percentage of Hispanics (13 percent).
The district includes a mix of suburban and rural communities, with only one city having more than 40,000 residents. In the east, timber, oil and natural gas are big industries, while Dallas commuters and other white-collar workers populate the growing western counties, especially Collin. This area hosts soccer's FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park, Frisco's regional sports complex that also is used as a retail center and entertainment venue.
Manufacturing and small businesses drive much of the economy in the 4th. Food-processing plants are important, and there is a Tyson Foods meat production plant in Sherman, but industry giant Pilgrim's Pride left its one-time headquarters in Pittsburg in 2009. The Texarkana area still depends on jobs at the Red River Army Depot. The district struggles, as does the rest of the state, with finding adequate water supplies for its growing communities. Transportation is also an issue for most of East Texas, and road and rail development will be key for the 4th, which is one of the nation's most-populous ahead of decennial remapping.
Associated with the Bible Belt that stretches through much of the South, the 4th is fertile territory for the GOP. Even Democrats, who can win local races in the east, tend to be conservative here. Every county in the 4th voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 2004 and 2008, and John McCain won 69 percent of the district's vote overall in 2008.
Manufacturing, agriculture, retail, health care
Red River Army Depot, 3 military, 3,300 civilian (2011)
Wylie (pt.), 41,012; Allen (pt.), 38,977; Sherman, 38,521; Rockwall, 37,490; Texarkana, 36,411; Greenville, 25,557; Paris, 25,171
Former House Speaker Sam Rayburn, a Democrat, hailed from Bonham, now home of the Sam Rayburn Library and Museum.
|2010||general||Ralph Hall (R)||136,338||73.2%|
|VaLinda Hathcox (D)||40,975||22%|
|Jim Prindle (LIBERT)||4,729||2.5%|
|Shane Shepard (I)||4,244||2.3%|
|2008||general||Ralph Hall (R)||206,906||68.8%|
|Glenn Melancon (D)||88,067||29.3%|
|Fred Annett (LIBERT)||5,771||1.9%|
|2006||general||Ralph Hall (R)||106,495||64.4%|
|Glenn Melancon (D)||55,278||33.4%|
|Kurt Helm (LIBERT)||3,496||2.1%|
|2004||general||Ralph Hall (R)||182,866||68.2%|
|Jim Nickerson (D)||81,585||30.4%|
|Kevin Anderson (LIBERT)||3,491||1.3%|
|2002||general||Ralph Hall (D)||97,304||57.8%|
|John Graves (R)||67,939||40.4%|
|Barbara Robinson (LIBERT)||3,042||1.8%|
|2008||Barack Obama: 30%||John McCain: 69%|
|2004||John Kerry: 29%||George W. Bush: 70%|
|2000||Al Gore: 34%||George W. Bush: 66%|