The election of Tracy Craig as Mount Pleasant Mayor was one of the biggest under-reported stories of June 2019 in Northeast Texas although it was one of the most important stories of the year in Titus County.

As the first African American mayor of Mount Pleasant, the Navy veteran won his mayoral runoff race in a landslide against the well-connected son of former State Sen. and Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff.

Mayor Craig defies labels as he beat Republican Ratliff with 66% of the vote in a county that gave President Trump 69.1% of the vote in 2016. This statistic should provide a scare to people who think a Democrat would not have a chance in deep-red Northeast Texas.

The previous year Craig had run as a Democrat for Justice of the Peace, but his election and conversion of Republican voters could provide a jolt to the congressional race to replace Rep. John Ratcliffe who was tapped to be Director of National Intelligence by President Trump on Sunday.

We talked with Mayor Craig on Monday, and it was apparent why voters warmed to his candidacy. The genuinely warm and friendly mayor said he had not truly considered running for Congress but did not wish to rule out his candidacy. He then repeated that he did not wish to rule anything out.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is widely expected to call a special election for the TX-4 seat, and these elections can produce surprising results.

While talking about his possible candidacy, the mayor was intent on promoting the city of Mount Pleasant, which has a new 6.8 million dollar sports complex and a new animal shelter that cost around $2 million.

He was also proud to be bringing in new blood to the city, and he oozed pride and charm. Because he was only recently elected, he does not know John Ratcliffe. But he wished the future DNI director well.

Watch out for Mayor Tracy Craig. His election in Mount Pleasant proves he has the charisma run a strong race to replace Congressman John Ratcliffe.

Editor's note: We will be providing daily coverage of the race for Texas' Fourth Congressional District along with our media partners across Northeast Texas.

About the author: J. Jones is a graduate of the Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism at the University of Arkansas. His articles have appeared in a few hundred newspapers in the United States, including some of the largest newspapers in America (USA Today and the Chicago Sun-Times) and smallest ones while covering state elections as a young reporter. He has been a proud Northeast Texas and Ark-La-Tex resident since his childhood.