Ralph Hall, oldest member of House, loses re-election bid


Associated Press

Posted on May 27, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 27 at 11:07 PM

ROCKWALL (AP) — The 91-year-old Texas Republican who is the oldest-ever member of the U.S. House has been ousted in a primary runoff.

Little-known Republican primary challenger John Ratcliffe defeated Rep. Ralph Hall in the first runoff he'd ever faced.

Hall, who once had a brush with the notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, first came to Congress in 1980.

He asked voters in his northeastern Texas district to elect him for an 18th term, promising it would be his last.

Hall began his congressional career when Ronald Reagan was president.

"Ronald Reagan was too old when he was there, but I was very supportive of him," Hall told News 8. "I ran two miles this morning; I run two miles every morning. I absolutely vote 99-plus percent of the time. I don't have any problem with that age. I'm thankful for it."

Backed by national conservative groups, the 48-year-old Ratcliffe used modern analytics to better target voters.

Hall countered with a traditional campaigning style, though he too was endorsed by some top tea party activists.

No Democrat is running, ensuring Ratcliffe will win in November.

So what's next for Ralph Hall?

"I may swim the Channel; I've been thinking about that over in England, or maybe down to... go back to the parachute one more time," he said.

WFAA's Jobin Panicker in Rockwall contributed to this report.