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President Donald Trump has nominated U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Republican from our own 4th District, to fill the position of National Security Director.

Ratcliffe has already been tested in U.S. Senate confirmation hearings, with a vote expected soon.

Should the Senate consent, as is its constitutional responsibility, then Ratcliffe will resign his House seat to take the new job.

That would leave us without a representative in Congress. So who gets to choose Ratcliffe's replacement? Will we have a special election and let the people decide?

The answer is the spot will be left vacant until national elections to be held on November 3.

There are already Democratic and Libertarian party contenders. So that leaves the GOP nominee — and likely winner — yet to be chosen.

But don't expect a voice in that. The district's Republican leadership will form a Congressional District Executive Committee to choose the nominee. County and precinct chairs will be on the committee and they nominate candidates and select one to run for Ratcliffe's seat. That will take place August 8 in Sulphur Springs.

We imagine some folks aren't too thrilled with that. We can't say we are, either. But that's the way state law says it must be done and right now it's probably the only practical way. The time frame is short and still-existent COVID-19 restrictions would make organizing campaigns and nominee's election something of a nightmare.

So some understanding is required. Everybody is just doing the best they can right now — and that includes our area politicos.

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