Oldest-Ever Congressman Ousted After 17 Terms

Republican Ralph Hall of Texas, who at 91 is the oldest-ever member of the U.S. House, has lost his bid to follow 17 terms in office with another one, which he had promised would be his last. He was narrowly defeated in a GOP runoff election May 27 by former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe, 48, who made Hall’s age an issue in the campaign.

Republican Ralph HallHall, first elected to the House in 1981, was the only World War II veteran on Capitol Hill seeking reelection. During his tenure, he witnessed the end of Jimmy Carter’s presidency. He also switched from being a Democrat to a Republican in 2004.

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ThinkProgress reports that a Missouri-based political action committee spent roughly $100,000 on ads that questioned the suitability of the 91-year-old representative. One ad that aired prior to Hall’s 91st birthday noted, “Now he’s 90, the oldest member in Congress ever.” Hall’s GOP opponent Ratcliffe said age was a “fair” issue to be considered.

Hall aimed to serve an 18th term to help bring a Republican to the presidency. However, with Hall’s loss in the primary runoff and no Democrat running as opposition, Ratcliffe’s win in the general election this November is all but assured.

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14 comments
jm92381604
jm92381604 5pts

I would like to see an accounting of his net wealth when he entered office and his net wealth now.  Then we can try to figure out where he got the millions.

jm92381604
jm92381604 5pts

GREAT.  About 15 Terms late though. 

Jack62
Jack62 5pts

Congressman Hall may be a fine man and an upstanding, productive member of Congress.  Nevertheless, there should be a restriction on the time members of Congress can serve - 4, 6, 8 years may be some alternatives to consider.  New blood is needed in Congress just like it is in the corporate world.  Corporations get it but Congress doesn’t because they don’t want to.  The perks everyone of them now receive should be greatly reduced.  The health insurance coverage and benefits should be the same as the average citizen - no more no less.  Oh, what a change we would see in the health insurance debacle.  They should be required to serve out the entire time they are elected for before they receive a penny of retirement from the Government.  Behavior in Congress (or out) that is against the Congressional edicts or the civilian laws should not be allowed and, if convicted in a court of law or by Congress, they SHOULD NOT receive a nickel of their retirement benefits no matter how long they were in Congress - as many do now.  The benefits from a simple system as described above would cut way down on their need to continually campaign for Congress.  Traveling back and forth from other states - I believe at Government expense - should be curtailed.  They use the "child card" frequently.  For example, “My child needs to finish high school in Cupertino, CA, so I cannot move to Washington, DC.”  Overheard this conversation frequently on my flights to and from the West Coast back in my career days.  While the above is the tip of the iceberg for needed changes, it gives us some idea of the support our taxes provide to those in the House and Senate.  WHAT A WASTE!

ct99402907
ct99402907 5pts

17 terms.  Seriously, people.  We need term limits.

ac79951247
ac79951247 5pts

It's sad to read that people on the public dole (tax dollars pay their salaries) are like the ones on welfare...they don't want to give up the "teet. If I could I would do an overhaul like (Chysler did with their new hires) with the feds. Get rid of the old hanger ons like this guy and rehire people who really want to serve and not be served. $45K a year. one month vacation. No freebies.

Amerika says that the Chinese are too hard on their people. When a person who is in the "party" is found to be (like senators/congressmen) corrupt, the Chinese make an example of him because he  was suppose to set an example. He was entrusted with the setting an example of wanting the best for others/party/society than self. I read they are not "lenient on them but punish them severely. Sad that the u.s. justice is tied up with the amount the person can afford to bride their way for lenient "justice."

jf1585
jf1585 5pts

Republican or Democrat, Hall needs to enjoy his rocking chair. 91? Not needed. Goodbye. Now if Pelosi would go; she looks older than 91, and acts like a 10 yr old or a 100 yr old....take your pick! Sorry 10 yr olds and 100 yr olds,

mj1015
mj1015 5pts

It doesn't matter if Ralph Hall was defeated or ousted.  What matters is he's out....and he should be. He should have been required to retire way before now.


jj2906
jj2906 5pts

You report on Ralph Hall's ousting is garbage. Ralph was not "narrowly" defeated, he lost by 7 points which is a rear end kicking in politics. Mr. Ratcliffe never made Halls age an issue. Mr. Ratcliffe's campaign never made one negative statement about any one in the primary and in the run off. Mr. Hall's issued several erroneous statements and issued a mailer that was 100percent lies. I helped run Mr. Ratcliffe's campaign and will provide you with any proof you need. Correct your lies and erroneous statements. Wait! Never mind! I forget your a radical leftwingers

IMCONCERNED
IMCONCERNED 5pts

Kotei Kotey's title shows a lack of experience and understanding of the election process. Sen. Hall was not ousted, he was defeated.

As for comments about age made during during campaigns,  Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat and a supporter of Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama, said McCain's age and skin cancer history were fair game as a campaign issue. "We're talking about a reality here that we have to face."

jr96202665
jr96202665 5pts

@Jack62 what did he produce except a great retirement package for himself . ???? What bills did he sponsor and get passed in all those years. ??? 

myexper
myexper 5pts

@IMCONCERNED  Not true. When an incumbent losses an election, they are "ousted" from office by voters. As such, your criticism of Kotei Kotey was false and not warranted.


And your mention of Senator Claire McCaskill has absolutely nothing to do with the article, which is also about a Republican attacking a fellow Republican.

IMCONCERNED
IMCONCERNED 5pts

myexper
My statement was not  false and it was warranted....Only those not famaliar with politics would use ousted instead of  defeated.

 Sen McCaskill's comment was also related to the article about John Ratcliffe, 48, who made Hall’s age an issue in the campaign  as did McCaskill.

myexper
myexper 5pts

@IMCONCERNED 

Ralph Hall is already in office (an incumbent). When an incumbent looses an election, they are removed (ousted) from the office they are holding. As Ralph Hall lost the election, he will in simple fact be ousted (or removed) from the office he now holds. The author's use of the word "ousted" is absolutely correct. Thus, your criticism of the author for using this correctly applied word is false, unwarranted and reflects your own unfamiliarity with politics.

Senator McCaskil's (a Democrat) used the age issue against a Republican. The age issue used by Ratcliff (a Republican) was used against another fellow Republican. As such, Ratcliffe attacked a member of his own party. McCaskil never attacked anyone from his own party.