Republican John Ratcliff unseats the nation's oldest Congressman

By Nancy Cook |

Published 05/27 2014 09:46PM

Updated 05/28 2014 10:47PM

The former mayor of Heath, Texas, tonight unseated the oldest U.S. Congressman in the country.

John Ratcliff, 48, defeated U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall for the Republican nomination forTexas’ 4th District House of Representatives seat, which Hall has held since 1980.

With 205 or 99% of the district’s 208 precincts reporting, Ratcliffe garnered 22,256 or 53% of the vote to Hall’s 19,882 votes or 47%.

Ratcliff, who served as mayor of Heath for two years. also served a year as a U.S. Attorney, and as Chief of Anti-Terrorism and National Seurity for the Eastern District of Texas from 2004-2007.

His campaign has dealt largely with his stance on illegal immigration, Second Amendment rights, limited government and a balanced budget, but he has not avoided the issue of his opponent’s age.

Last week, Ratcliffe told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that he believed 91-year-old Rep. Ralph Hall’s age was fair game for voters to weigh. “I think it’s something that the voters are concerned about,” he said. “Voters raise the issue of age and it is fair for them to consider.”

In his campaign ads, Ratcliff called for a “new generation” of leadership and questioned the length of Hall’s tenure.

Ratcliff is the youngest of six children raised by teachers. He attended the University of Notre Dame on a scholarship, and like his opponent, earned his law degree from Southern Methodist University Law School.


He and his wife, Michelle, have been married 23 years and have two daughters. They have lived in Heath, Texas for the past 17 years.

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