91-year-old defeated incumbent: ‘I figured it out – damn guy got more votes than I did!’
May 29th, 2014
01:05 PM ET
7 months ago

91-year-old defeated incumbent: ‘I figured it out – damn guy got more votes than I did!’

Washington (CNN) – Ninety-one-year-old Ralph Hall may have lost his primary on Tuesday - the first incumbent defeated this year - but the Texas Republican was greeted with a standing ovation by his House GOP colleagues Thursday morning and cracked jokes about his political future.

A smiling Hall, who lost to tea party-backed candidate John Ratcliffe, told reporters after a closed-door meeting: "I figured it out – damn guy got more votes than I did!"

Asked about his plans now that his more than three-decade career in Congress is coming to an end, Hall said, "I went to the employment office this morning and they didn't offer me anything, but I got a job here until December 31st."

"At 91-years-old a contract for six months – you can't beat it," he added, referring to the rest of his term in the House.

Hall, the oldest sitting member of Congress, said he talked about his age at the weekly meeting with his GOP colleagues.

"I told them I was leaving because I heard Howard Coble was leaving and that would really make me the oldest guy," he said. North Carolina GOP Rep. Coble, who announced last fall he wouldn't run for another term, is 82 - almost a decade younger than Hall.

On his election loss, Hall then admitted: "I was disappointed, I was just outspent."

"I've heard money isn't everything but it sure keeps you in touch with your kids," Hall said, adding, "and by God it keeps you in touch with voters, too. And this guy had plenty of money, and he wasn't a bad candidate."

With Hall's defeat, and with longtime Democratic Rep. John Dingell of Michigan retiring, Congress is losing its last two veterans of World War II.


Filed under: Congress • Texas
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    You're too old. Kick rocks and enjoy your tax payer funded pension for the rest of your short time here on Earth.

    May 29, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Donna

    I like his sense of humor, but it really is time to move on and enjoy life. You've served long enough. Thanks and have a great rest of your life. May you live to 120!

    May 29, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    "who lost to tea party-backed candidate"
    As a liberal I want more primary Tea Party wins! We have seen a few good examples of TP knocking out a moderate only to be defeated by the Dem moderate. TP is like the GOP's crazy uncle that keeps showing up uninvited. Go TP!

    May 29, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. John

    The final sentence of this article is what got me. Regardless of their party affiliations, Reps. Dingell and Hall are owed a tremendous amount of gratitude for their sacrifices to our nation. A sobering chapter of our history is coming to an end.

    May 29, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. just asking

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA – Take Back the House
    You're too old. Kick rocks and enjoy your tax payer funded pension for the rest of your short time here on Earth.
    ---

    do you say this to and denigrate all the union workers that get taxpayer funded pensions? i doubt it.
    and what do you have against the guy anyways? at least he's been working and paying taxes, not mooching like so many people in this country.

    May 29, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Enjoy the rest of your life sir, you've earned it.

    May 29, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Greg

    @Dutch/Bad Newz – Really? He may be bit older than you but he's got a better disposition and a much better outlook on life.

    May 29, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Winston Smith

    To be 91, and still be among the living is a feat in itself. Why would anyone want to work a day longer?

    May 29, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Name Uche Agonsi

    He should have waited for a poll defeat. It could have been more dignifying to retire when ovation was loudest. However in Texas, anything goes.

    May 29, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |