- - Monday, December 24, 2012

DALLAS — When Ralph M. Hall was elected to the U.S. House in 1980 at the age of 57, he had already served in the Navy in World War II, built a successful business career and served in Texas’ state government for many years.

On Christmas Day, the North Texas congressman will become the oldest person to serve in the U.S. House, surpassing the record of Rep. Charles Manly Stedman of North Carolina, who died in office in 1930 at age 89 years, 7 months and 25 days.

Hall, who turns 90 on May 3, this year became the oldest House member to cast a vote. Those close to the Rockwall Republican say he remains active. Voters re-elected him last month to a 17th term, and Mr. Hall told The Dallas Morning News he may even run again.

“I’m just an old guy — lived pretty clean,” Mr. Hall said. “I have no ailments. I don’t hurt anywhere. I may run again. I’ll just wait and see.”

It’s more common for senators to serve into their later years, in part because senators run for re-election every six years instead of every two.

Mr. Hall’s longtime chief of staff, Janet Perry Poppleton, and fellow members of Texas’ congressional delegation credit him for staying active and physically healthy.

CONNECTICUT

Kennedy not running for Massachusetts seat

HARTFORD — Edward Kennedy Jr., a son of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, announced Monday he has decided not to run for the Senate seat from Massachusetts that will become vacant if John F. Kerry is confirmed as secretary of state.

The 51-year-old health care lawyer, who lives in Connecticut and owns a home in Massachusetts, issued a statement saying he’s “extremely grateful for all of the offers of support” he has received from people over the past several days urging him to run, but he plans to remain in Branford.

“Although I have a strong desire to serve in public office, I consider Connecticut to be my home, and I hope to have the honor to serve at another point in my future,” he said.

Patrick Kennedy, the former congressman who represented Rhode Island, told The Associated Press on Saturday that his brother was considering running in the special election for Mr. Kerry’s seat, given the numerous encouraging calls he has received from their late father’s friends and former colleagues, including former Connecticut Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr.

Patrick Kennedy said the callers told his brother that he “has what it takes to keep that seat in Democratic hands” because of the Kennedy name and “the legacy of my family,” but also “because of what they know about my brother.”

TEXAS

Dewhurst pledges ‘bold’ conservative agenda

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