Is Ron Paul the San Antonio Spurs of American Politics?

by | Jun 16, 2014

RP Sanantonia

Many basketball fans are marveling at the San Antonio Spurs winning on Sunday night the team’s fifth nonconsecutive National Basketball Association championship. Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz suggests at his institute’s website that people should also marvel at RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul’s similar, and unmatched, United States House of Representatives­­ electoral accomplishments. Boaz explains:

[Ron Paul] first won in a special election for an open seat. He then lost his seat and won it back two years later, defeating the incumbent. After two more terms he left his seat to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate (and thereby did his greatest disservice to the American Republic, as his seat was won by Tom DeLay). Twelve years later, in 1996, after some redistricting, he ran again for Congress, again defeating an incumbent, this time in the Republican primary. Some political scientist should study the political skills it takes to win election to Congress without the benefit of incumbency — three times.

Read Boaz’s complete article here.

Paul’s final return to the House in 1996 was a particularly arduous task. First, Paul won more votes in the Republican primary than Jim Deats who was the Republican nominee two years earlier. Second, Paul beat in the primary runoff Greg Laughlin, the incumbent four-term representative who had served as a Democrat but was running for reelection as a Republican with the support of virtually the entire Republican political establishment. Finally, Paul defeated in the general election his Democratic Party opponent Charles “Lefty” Morris in the district long represented by a Democrat.

Making things even more challenging for Paul, the district he won in 1996 was much different than the area he had represented in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The new district extended from the Gulf Coast to the edge of Austin in Central Texas. Paul previously represented a much smaller district hugging the Gulf Coast and Houston.

You can watch below a promotional video from Paul’s 1996 campaign:


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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