ROCKWALL — Tony Arterburn is the second of four primary opponents to publicly endorse Rep. Ralph Hall's re-election bid.
“Ralph, I want to extend all my support to you,” Arterburn said at the Rockwall Golf and Athletic Club late Friday afternoon.
It was a needed endorsement for Hall in a challenging race. He faces his strongest competitor in years from Republican John Ratcliffe, a former U.S. Attorney and former mayor of Heath.
Ratcliffe appeared on Sunday’s broadcast of "Inside Texas Politics."
"The results of the election show an overwhelming majority of the election voted against Congressman Hall — 55 percent," Ratcliffe said. "I had 30 percent of the vote in less than two-and-a-half months of campaigning."
But at age 90, and the nation’s oldest congressman, Ralph Hall fired back in a separate interview with News 8.
"They’re not running against my birth certificate," Hall said on Friday. "They’re running against me. And I’m healthy as a radish. I can outwork you or anybody else if I need to because I grew up working, and I know what hard work is."
"I haven't made age an issue throughout this campaign," Ratcliffe explained on WFAA’s weekly political program. "I've talked more about tenure. From my perspective, Congressman Hall has been in Washington for 34 years. I think that's too long."
Ratcliffe has challenged Hall to five debates before the May 27 runoff.
"I'd want to debate, too, if I was 11,000 votes behind," Hall said.
When asked if he would debate Ratcliffe, Hall said: "I don’t know if I'm going to have time to; I don’t mind it."
Hall said he was forced into a runoff with Ratcliffe because he spent most of his time in the House and only campaigned in his district for less than a week.
Former candidate Lou Gigilotti reportedly endorsed Rep. Hall recently, as well.