Senate Conservatives Fund backs Ralph Hall challenger

The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) is throwing its support behind Rep. Ralph Hall's (R-Texas) primary challenger, giving the group a chance to claim victory in a race that looks problematic for the elder statesman.

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They're the latest to endorse former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe (R), since he forced Hall into a primary runoff in March, holding the 90 year-old congressman under the 50 percent threshold he needed to win the nomination.

"John Ratcliffe is a principled, conservative leader who will fight to stop the massive spending and debt in Washington that are bankrupting our country," said SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins in a statement. "He's part of a new generation of conservative Republicans, and we're excited to support him."

Ratcliffe is increasingly looking like the favorite in the race, as Hall is short on funds to compete with him on the airwaves ahead of the May runoff.

The Club for Growth is also backing Ratcliffe. So is the Now or Never PAC, which is running ads criticizing Hall, Congress's oldest member, for being to old to do his job.

Hall has his own support — nearly all of Texas's delegation is backing him, as is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), who endorsed him on Thursday, calling him "a statesman, a veteran and a true conservative who will stand up for what’s right."

Ratcliffe has been self-funding much of his campaign, and while he's positioned himself to Hall's right — he told The Hill he was hoping the GOP would have a different leader than House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — the campaign has been more focused on the age difference between the two men than any policy differences.

The SCF has endorsed a string of Senate candidates against incumbent Republican senators, most of whom don't look like they're going to win this year. The group has mostly focused on Senate candidates in the past, but endorsed five House candidates last month.

— This post was updated at 10:10 a.m.