Republican Ralph Hall, Oldest House Member, Unseated in GOP Primary

Former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe takes over Hall’s Texas district with the help of conservative outside groups.

Ralph Hall
National Journal
Jack Fitzpatrick
Add to Briefcase
Jack Fitzpatrick
May 27, 2014, 6:15 p.m.

Former U.S. At­tor­ney John Ratcliffe beat Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Ral­ph Hall in a primary run­off Tues­day night in Texas, be­com­ing the first Re­pub­lic­an chal­lenger to un­seat an in­cum­bent mem­ber of Con­gress this elec­tion year.

The As­so­ci­ated Press called the race for Ratcliffe just after 10 p.m. East­ern time, with Ratcliffe lead­ing Hall 52 per­cent to 48 per­cent in Texas’s 4th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.

In the ab­sence of ma­jor policy dif­fer­ences, Hall’s age be­came a cent­ral is­sue in the cam­paign. Hall, 91 years old and first elec­ted in 1980, is the old­est mem­ber ever to serve in the House. Ratcliffe rarely poin­ted dir­ectly to Hall’s age, but fre­quently de­scribed him­self as a “new gen­er­a­tion” Re­pub­lic­an who was part of the party’s fu­ture. He also cast Hall as a ca­reer politi­cian and tied him to voters’ dis­ap­point­ment in Con­gress.

“At 91, Ral­ph Hall has served ad­mir­ably,” Ratcliffe said in one TV ad. “But after four dec­ades in Wash­ing­ton, the prob­lems are get­ting worse, not bet­ter.”

Ratcliffe’s own money helped make him the most for­mid­able op­pon­ent of Hall’s ca­reer. He loaned his cam­paign $575,300 of his own money to fin­ance the chal­lenge, and Ratcliffe also be­nefited from hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars in spend­ing from groups like the Sen­ate Con­ser­vat­ives Fund, Now or Nev­er PAC, and the Club for Growth, which boos­ted the chal­lenger and cri­tiqued Hall’s long vot­ing re­cord.

Hall, mean­while, had over­whelm­ing sup­port from cur­rent and former mem­bers of Texas’s con­gres­sion­al del­eg­a­tion, in­clud­ing former Rep. Ron Paul. Fel­low Re­pub­lic­an mem­bers helped raise money for Hall with his seat in jeop­ardy over the last few months.

Ratcliffe forced Hall in­to a run­off after the March 4 primary, in which the in­cum­bent fin­ished first but failed to reach the 50 per­cent threshold ne­ces­sary to win the nom­in­a­tion. Hall re­ceived 45 per­cent of the vote in that elec­tion while Ratcliffe re­ceived 29 per­cent, ad­van­cing to the head-to-head match­up over four oth­er Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates.

What We're Following See More »
FIRST TIME SINCE COLD WAR
Nuclear Bombers Preparing to Go Back on 24-Hour Alert
46 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991...Putting the B-52s back on alert is just one of many decisions facing the Air Force as the U.S. military responds to a changing geopolitical environment that includes North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, President Trump’s confrontational approach to Pyongyang, and Russia’s increasingly potent and active armed forces."

Source:
TRUMP’S ATTORNEY WAS SET TO TESTIFY ON WEDNESDAY
Senate Intel Postpones Testimony by Cohen
2 days ago
THE LATEST
AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED CONSIDERATION
Senate Rejects Effort to Nix SALT Tax Changes
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."

Source:
INTERVIEWED BY COMMITTEE STAFF
Lewandowski Meets with Senate Intelligence Committee
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. Lewandowski is the latest senior official in Trump's orbit who has met with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign."

Source:
FISHING EXPEDITION
Some Members Seek to Wrap Up Russia Investigations by Year’s End
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"A growing number of key Republicans are sending this message to the leaders of the congressional committees investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russians: Wrap it up soon. In the House and Senate, several Republicans who sit on key committees are starting to grumble that the investigations have spanned the better part of the past nine months, contending that the Democratic push to extend the investigation well into next year could amount to a fishing expedition."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login