By Melissa Bell
Despite a bumpy election road, littered with dirty Internet sites and aggressive campaign commercials, Ben Quayle secured the Republican nomination in Arizona's 3rd Congressional District yesterday.
Quayle, 33, raised more than $1.3 million to beat out eight other candidates. The district has been predominantly Republican, and many see the general election, in which Quayle will run against Democrat Jon Hulburd*, as a shoo-in for the Republican candidate.
Bearing more than a just a passing physical resemblance to his father, former vice president Dan Quayle, Quayle was dogged by a series of political gaffes during the election. Born in Indiana, Quayle moved to Arizona where he now lives with his wife, Tiffany Quayle. The couple has no children, but a campaign mailer showed Quayle hugging two girls. It read, "We are going to raise our family here." The girls were his nieces. One rival claimed Quayle rented a family.
A week after the mailer went out, another rival accused Quayle of writing on a Web site titled DirtyScottsdale.com. At first the conservative Quayle denied he had anything to do with the racy Web site, which featured photographs of women and stories about Arizona nightlife, but he later admitted he had posted comments to help the Web site's founder drive traffic to the site.
One comment attributed to Quayle read, "My moral compass is so broken I can barely find the parking lot."
Quayle said that bringing up his past involvement in the Web site was merely an attempt to smear his campaign. Quayle's father, Dan, came to his aid, writing an e-mail in defense of Quayle. "I have never in my 35 years of politics seen such an ugly, slanderous assault in the closing days of a campaign against a fellow Republican," he wrote.
Toward the final weeks of the campaign, Quayle released a strongly worded campaign ad, calling President Obama the worst president in history and saying, "Someone has to go to Washington and knock the hell out of the place."
The Arizona voters seemed to think Quayle would be the one to do that job.
*This post originally stated that Quayle would run against Rep. Harry Mitchell. It has been fixed.