Oldest member of Congress loses in Texas runoff
May 27th, 2014
10:17 PM ET
7 years ago

Oldest member of Congress loses in Texas runoff

(CNN) – Rep. Ralph Hall, the oldest elected official in Washington, lost a tough runoff battle in Texas Tuesday, making the 91-year-old Republican the first incumbent member of Congress to go down in defeat this primary season.

CNN projects former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe, an anti-establishment candidate, will beat Hall in the GOP contest for Texas’ 4th Congressional District, which is located in the northeastern portion of the state.

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Throughout his campaign, Ratcliffe, 48, called for "new leadership" and is promising to leave office after eight years. He had the backing of some powerful national conservative groups like Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund.

In the March primary, Hall brought in 45% of the vote - not enough to stave off a runoff against Ratcliffe, the second place finisher at 28%.

Hall was first elected to the House in 1980 and was vying for an 18th term, which he has said would have been his last. He lost despite having the backing of some tea party favorites, including retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Complete coverage of the 2014 midterm elections


Filed under: 2014 • Texas
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. ED1

    Don't you think it's time another reason for term limits and no funded tax payers retirements or health care for any elected person.

    May 27, 2014 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  2. just me

    Out with the old, in with the stupid.

    May 27, 2014 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  3. smith1

    the baggers took texas. what a mess . . The loonies are loose in the longhorn state

    May 27, 2014 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  4. Name Uche Agonsi

    91-year old !!! ?....... I think he needs a rest. His role should have been more of advisory than active politicking. Karl Rove deserves to hear this. No wonder the GOPers are out of time of modern political concepts.

    May 27, 2014 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  5. Tony D

    Sorry, Congress is not the the place for a 91 year old. I think these old guys, from BOTH parties, are doing it for the healthcare benefits. Anybody over 80 should get the boot.

    May 27, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Ratcliffe = Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund.

    Hall = Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

    Nut's and Crazy's ?

    May 28, 2014 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  7. What the What

    We need term limits for Congress.

    May 28, 2014 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    If we cant a maximum term limit for candidates we should have a compulsory retirement age of 75 or older than if 75 if you last elections expiry makes you older.
    We need more younger more energetic people with up to date ideas and thinking to solve problems.
    More to the point we need much more simple legislation based on principles of economics and Past jurisprudence... where the intent is clear. so many good thoughts get bogged down in the legal morass or molasses.
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    May 28, 2014 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  9. ldavid69

    Unbelievable. 91 years old? We definitely need term limits.

    May 28, 2014 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  10. Marie MD

    It's Texas. It doesn't matter how old these politicians are from the state of no regulations, the Canadian domestic terrorist, gopher and the oops governor.

    May 28, 2014 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  11. Get Real

    C'mon 91 years old? Should have been retired YEARS ago.

    May 28, 2014 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  12. Gurgyl

    --this nation not only needs "TERM-LIMITS" but also needs "AGE LIMITS" too. Pass this along with total gun-ban.

    May 28, 2014 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  13. JohnQAmerica

    Someone said the Tea Party was dead....lol...more to come !

    May 28, 2014 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  14. Rick McDaniel

    Good.

    I want term limits on Congress, as well as the Presidency. The people must demand term limits to reduce the corruption in Congress.

    May 28, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  15. ED1

    The Presidency has term limits so should all elected officials.

    May 28, 2014 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  16. Anonymous

    wow 91 years old. Doesn't he have som elife beyond politics? 91 years old. man how time flies, hahahahaha.

    May 28, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  17. O'drama ya Mama

    Rick McDaniel

    Good.

    I want term limits on Congress, as well as the Presidency. The people must demand term limits to reduce the corruption in Congress.
    May 28, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    We have had term limits on the Presidency since after FDR. What color is the sky in your world?

    May 28, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  18. Dead Bear

    @JohnQAmerica... I bet you look like the smartest guy in the room when you wear your tri corner hat to the town hall meeting.

    The Tea Party taking over in Texas is the perfect example of the inmates running the asylum. Can't wait to see the look on all of those disenfranchised middle-aged white men's faces when the demographics change in that state.

    May 28, 2014 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  19. TONE

    Wes

    obama is a disaster.

    Then how would you describe all the other republican presidents, a train wreck ? because none of them are better than this president, bush was an idiot, the worst president ever.

    May 28, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  20. TONE

    Wow 91 years old, no wonder the republican party has the 17 century mentality.

    May 28, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. Chris-E...al

    They have been talking about term limits ever sense term limits was made word about 100 years ago ?

    May 28, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  22. Bessy

    Not only term limits needed but I think age limits. 75 years old should be enough.

    May 28, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. Fair is Fair

    ED1

    The Presidency has term limits so should all elected officials.
    --------
    There's are good reasons there's term limits on the Presidency, the most important of which is executive power to appoint justices to the Supreme Court. Without presidential term limits, a single president could effectively "stack" the SCOTUS and thus throw a monkey wrench into the delicate checks and balances between the branches.

    May 28, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. TONE

    JohnQAmerica

    Someone said the Tea Party was dead....lol...more to come !

    Every where else except Texas, and i am not very surprised, they elected rick perry, and bush so what's new

    May 28, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  25. turd cruzin

    Fair, uh, pretty sure its to late, look at the political activists they call conservative judges, do you think citizens united was a good thing? Or eliminate all funding rules, that's where this ends, with the rich running the show.

    May 28, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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