Oldest member of Congress loses in Texas runoff

CNN
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 1:54pm

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.

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. 

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