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Veteran U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall loses GOP primary runoff

Hall, the oldest person ever to serve in the House, is narrowly defeated by John Radcliffe in his bid for an 18th term

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

texas mugTEXARKANA, Texas (CFP) — After 34 years in Congress, U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall has been unceremoniously rejected by his own Republican voters in Texas’ 4th District, ending his quest for an 18th term.

Hall, 91, narrowly lost to John Radcliffe, 48, a former federal prosecutor, in the May 27 runoff. Radcliffe took 53 percent of the vote, compared to 47 percent for Hall.

U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall

U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall

Hall, first elected in 1980, is the dean of the Texas House delegation and one of only two World War II veterans left in Congress. At 91, he is the oldest person to ever serve in the House.

The 4th District sprawls across northeast Texas from the Dallas exurbs north to Oklahoma and east to Arkansas. The district is heavily Republican, making Radcliffe the prohibitive favorite to win in November.

While not directly making Hall’s age an issue in the race, Radcliffe criticized him for being part of the Washington establishment and billed himself as “a new generation of conservative leadership.”

Hall, a former committee chairman in the House, emphasized his experience and seniority. He had the backing of nearly all of the state’s congressional delegation, including Tea Party favorite Senator Ted Cruz.

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