Rockwall's Ralph Hall, the Oldest-Ever Member of Congress, Says Next Term Will Be His Last

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

There's no guarantee that U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall, who has represented Rockwall and Northeast Texas in Washington for so long that they named a lake after him, will survive next year's Republican primary. For the first time in years, he's facing a formidable challenger in former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe.

Hall, who turns 91 in May and is the oldest-ever member of Congress, is undaunted. "I'll outwork him," Hall told The Dallas Morning News. "I'll talk to a lot more people than he's gonna talk to."

Despite this bravado, however, Hall is uncharacteristically making one large concession to his heretofore unacknowledged mortality. According to the Rockwall Herald-Banner, he announced last week that this will be his final bid for public office.

See also: Rep. Ralph Hall of Rockwall Defeats Super PAC, Tea Party, Old Age and the Sky

On the one hand, we're disappointed to see Hall surrender to the naysaying ageists out there after what at the end of another term would be a mere 36 years in Congress. On the other, his efforts to prove he remains in full control of his faculties, by riding an elephant, skydiving, and mistakenly wandering into a gay-rights soiree, have become increasingly desperate.

We fear that another Congressional run would prompt him to demonstrate his vigor by swimming across Lake Ray Hubbard (potentially tragic) and siring offspring with young Northeast Texas woman (too gross to imagine). On balance, this seems like the right call.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.