Oldest-Ever Congressional Rep. Defeated in Texas by Tea Party Challenger

Oldest-Ever Congressional Rep. Defeated in Texas by Tea Party Challenger

91-year-old Republican Rep. Ralph Hall, the oldest person to ever serve in the U.S. House, was defeated in the GOP runoff primaries by John Ratcliffe. 

According to the Dallas Morning News, Ratcliffe was winning by 2,272 votes when 93 percent of precincts had been counted. 

Ratcliffe reportedly released a statement that said, “I entered this race because I want a better path for America than the one that we’re on right now.  Tonight, the voters of this district confirmed what I’ve been hearing on the campaign trail for the last six months.  I thank Congressman Hall for serving us admirably, and wish him the best moving forward.  I look forward to representing the 4th District of Texas in U.S. House of Representatives and fighting for the conservative values which I’ve defended throughout my career.”

Had Hall won, it would have been his 18th term–he won his seat in 1980. The World War II veteran allegedly said he had worked “day and night to make [the election] go my way.” The Washington Post reported that Hall was one of the last WWII vets to serve in Congress. They wrote, “Hall’s defeat means that there will be no WWII vets serving in Congress after next year. The only other remaining veteran of the war, Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), is planning to retire.”

48-year-old Ratcliffe was the mayor of Heath, Texas for eight years. He was is also a former U.S. Attorney and worked in former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s law firm. He said he wanted voters to “break the habit of just looking for the name Hall and voting out of habit.”

Since no Democrat sought the District 4 seat, according to the Morning News, Ratcliffe automatically won the seat by succeeding in the runoffs. 

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.