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Oldest-Ever Texas Congressman Faces Biggest Challenge

Representative Ralph Hall, (R) Rockwall

Representative Ralph Hall, (R) Rockwall

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ROCKWALL, Texas (AP) – When he was a boy working in a pharmacy near Dallas, Ralph Hall had a brush with Bonnie and Clyde, who stopped in to buy cigarettes. The notorious bank robbers later died in a hail of lawmen gunfire.

Now that he’s 90 and the oldest-ever member of the U.S. House, the Texas Republican is facing his own political shootout. He’s facing his first primary runoff since being elected in 1980.

His challenger, former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe, is 48 and backed by powerful conservative groups. He’s also well-schooled in modern campaigning.

Hall is a master of face-to-face politics and scoffs at the notion he’s too old. But the GOP runoff next month may test whether old-style campaigning can prevail against the modern election techniques now dominating American politics.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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