Texas held several primary runoff elections on Tuesday, and two of the results had some space policy implications. In the 4th district, former House Science Committee chairman Ralph Hall lost a Republican party runoff to former US Attorney John Ratcliffe, 53 to 47 percent. Hall was chairman of the committee in 2011–2012, and served as ranking member in 2007–2010 when the Democrats were in the majority; he currently holds the honorary position of “chairman emeritus” on the committee. Hall was first elected to Congress in 1980 as a Democrat, but changed parties in early 2004.
In the 36th Congressional district, which includes near its boundaries the Johnson Space Center, Brian Babin defeated Ben Streusand in the Republican primary by a 58-42 percent margin. The seat is currently held by Rep. Steve Stockman (R), who challenged Sen. John Cornyn for the Republican Senate nomination and lost in the primary earlier this year. Space policy didn’t play a major role in the race, although during the runoff campaign Babin’s campaign trumpeted an endorsement by retired NASA flight director Gene Kranz. “I firmly believe Dr. Brian Babin is committed to NASA and the space industry and will work hard to maintain the Johnson Space Center as the leader in space operations, engineering and science,” Kranz said in the endorsement earlier this month.