Rep. Ralph Hall on Tuesday also became the first congressional incumbent to lose a primary this year. He had told voters if he had been elected to an 18th term, it would be his last.
Hall was defeated by John Ratcliffe, a 48-year-old former U.S. attorney who used modern analytics to better target would-be voters. He also has won the support of powerful national conservative groups with strong Tea Party ties, including the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund.
Hall, who hails from Rockwell east of Dallas, relied on a more-traditional campaign, using direct mailings and walking the district, interacting with voters and handing out pennies fitted with bands bearing his name.
Hall was endorsed by Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and leading Christian conservative voice and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
First, nobody needs to serve that long or probably at that age. Secondly, I think it’s a healthy sign for the GOP that the combined forces of Bachmann and Huckabee were unable to save Hall’s campaign.