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Texas's 4th congressional district
TX04 109.gif
Current Representative Ralph Hall (R)
Population (2000) 651,619
Median income $38,276
Ethnicity 83.0% White, 10.4% Black, 0.6% Asian, 7.9% Hispanic, 0.8% Native American, 0.2% other
Cook PVI R+21

Texas District 4 of the United States House of Representatives is a Congressional district that serves an area that includes some counties along the Red River north of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, including semi-rural Rockwall County and the large non-urbanized portion of Collin County. It then snakes down east of Dallas to include some counties in East Texas such as Van Zandt County and Rains County. As of the 2000 census, District 4 represents 651,620 people who are predominantly Caucasian (80.8%) and middle-class (median family income is US$46,086, compared to $50,046 nationwide).

Texas has had at least four congressional districts since the state was readmitted to the Union after the Civil War. The district's current seat dates from 1903; only four men have represented it since then.

Once a reliably Democratic district, the district swung rapidly into the Republican column as Dallas' suburbs spilled into the western portion of the district. In fact, it has not supported a Democrat for president since 1964. For many years, it was based in Tyler, but a controversial 2003 redistricting orchestrated by then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay drew it and neighboring Longview out of District 4 and into neighboring District 1 which made District 1 significantly more Republican.

Ralph Hall, the current dean of the Texas congressional delegation, has represented the district since 1981. Originally a Democrat, he became a Republican in 2004. Congressman Ralph Hall has been a fence rider for many years, voting in large part with the Democratic party, and as needed with the Republican Party when his vote did not matter. He had been rumored as a party switcher for some time, and many experts believed his district was almost certain to be taken over by a Republican anyway once he retired. In 1996 a conservative Republican candidate Jerry Ray Hall, ran against Congressman Ralph Hall, and to the surprise of conservative Republicans, Senator Phil Gramm endorsed Congressman Ralph Hall, a Democrat at the time. The Republican Senator campaigned with the Democratic Congressman throughout the district. This enraged the Republican Women's groups. Before and after his party switch, Congressman Hall has proven to be in the middle of the road.

The district's best-known congressman was Sam Rayburn, the longtime Speaker of the House.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was born in the fourth district.

Representatives from Texas District 4

The district was created in 1869, one of two new districts that Texas gained after the 1860 Census, but was not filled due to the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Name Took Office Left Office Party District Residence
Edward Degener 1869 1871 Republican San Antonio
John Hancock 1871 1875 Democrat
Roger Q. Mills 1875 1883 Democrat Corsicana
David B. Culberson 1883 1897 Democrat Jefferson
John W. Cranford 1897 1899[1] Democrat Sulphur Springs
John Levi Sheppard 1899 1902[2] Democrat Texarkana
Morris Sheppard 1902 1903 Democrat Texarkana
Choice B. Randell 1903 1913 Democrat Sherman
Sam Rayburn 1913 1961[3] Democrat Bonham
Ray Roberts 1962 1981 Democrat McKinney
Ralph Hall 1981 2004 Democrat Rockwall
Ralph Hall 2004 currently serving Republican[4] Rockwall
  • ^  Cranford died early in his second term and was succeeded by John L. Sheppard who was elected in a special election.
  • ^  John L. Sheppard died in the middle of his term and was succeeded by his son, Morris Sheppard who was elected in a special election.
  • ^  Rayburn died in late 1961 in the middle of his 25th term; Roberts succeeded him in a special election.
  • ^  Hall switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican in 2004.

Election results

US House election, 2004: Texas District 4
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Ralph Hall 182,866 68.2 +27.9
Democratic Jim Nickerson 81,585 30.4 -27.4
Libertarian Kevin D. Anderson 3,491 1.3 -0.5
Majority 101,281 37.8
Turnout 267,942
Republican hold Swing +27.6

Ralph Hall's Democratic opponent in the 2006 election was Dr. Glenn Melancon.

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