Speed Reads

campaign 2014

Texas Republicans just forcibly retired the oldest member of Congress

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Even in a chamber full of old white men, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas) stands out. Hall, 91, is so old that he once had a run-in with notorious bandits Bonnie and Clyde when he worked at a pharmacy as a boy. But after 17 terms in the House, he just ran his last race. Hall was defeated Tuesday in a GOP primary runoff by John Ratcliffe, 48, a former U.S. Attorney who challenged him from the Tea Party right.

Hall nearly avoided a runoff election with 45 percent in the six-person first round, to Ratcliffe's 29 percent. But in the runoff, Ratcliffe used modern political target advertising while Hall relied on direct mailing and old fashioned shoe-leather politicking. "I just got whipped and got beat," Hall told his supporters on Tuesday night. Hall has served in his northeast Texas district since 1981, and is the last World War II veteran in the House who was seeking re-election.