John Ratcliffe, the Republican challenger to Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Tex.) has picked up two endorsements from well-funded national conservative political groups, support that could help Ratcliffe unseat the 17-term incumbent.
Hall, 90, who was first elected to Congress in 1980, failed to earn at least 50 percent support in a GOP primary this month and faces Ratcliffe, 48, in a May 27 runoff. The winner is expected to coast to victory in November's election as the Texas 4th Congressional District is safe Republican territory.
On Tuesday the Club for Growth and the Madison Project PAC both announced support for Ratcliffe -- and both groups took the opportunity to crow about their success in previous Texas Republican primaries.
Club for Growth President Chris Chocola described Ratcliffe as "a constitutional conservative who will champion economic freedom and individual liberty in Congress."
Drew Ryun, political director for the Madison Project, described Ratcliffe as "the perfect candidate to fill the void within the Republican Party to fight against an increasingly imperial federal executive."
Ratcliffe is a former U.S. attorney for eastern Texas and the former mayor of tiny Heath, Tex. He has worked in recent years as a Dallas-based partner in a law firm run by former attorney general John Ashcroft and worked briefly for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential transition team, which was established before the 2012 elections.
In their endorsements Tuesday, both groups sought to tie Ratcliffe to their previous support of Ted Cruz in his 2012 primary against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
The Madison Project PAC noted it was the first such group to endorse Cruz during his primary campaign, while Chocola said, "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."
In addition to the new super PAC support, a Texas-based PAC is also airing an ad in support of Ratcliffe that raises concerns about Hall's advanced age.