TIME Congress

Washington’s Oldest Congressman Loses Runoff Election

Congressman Ralph Hall smiles during a tour of his home in Rockwall, Tx, May 27, 2014.
LM Otero—AP Congressman Ralph Hall smiles during a tour of his home in Rockwall, Texas, May 27, 2014.

Texas Rep. Ralph Hall, 91, was defeated by Republican primary challenger John Ratcliffe on Tuesday

The oldest elected politician in Washington lost a runoff election in a Republican primary Tuesday night.

Texas Rep. Ralph Hall, 91, was ousted by 48-year-old John Ratcliffe, who emphasized the importance of new leadership after Hall’s 34 years in office, the Associated Press report.

Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney backed by several national conservative organizations, won the election in the Texas’ 4th Congressional District, which is in the northeastern region of the state, CNN reports.

No Democratic candidate is running in the district, which means Ratcliffe’s primary victory will send him to Washington.

Hall won his first congressional seat during Jimmy Carter’s presidency in 1980. He was a member of the Democratic Party until 2004, when he switched to the GOP. He is the only World War II veteran in Congress who was seeking re-election.

During the party’s March primary, Hall claimed 45 percent of the vote while Ratcliffe finished second with 28 percent, leading to the run-off. Hall had said that his 18th term would have been his last, had he been elected.


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