PHOENIX (AP) — The son of former Vice President Dan Quayle won the Republican primary for an Arizona congressional seat after a provocative campaign that had no shortage of drama.
Ben Quayle emerged from a crowded field Tuesday in the fight for an open seat in a Republican-leaning district in the Phoenix area. He drew on his family connections to raise more than $1.3 million — and made plenty of headlines along the way.
In a campaign ad, he called President Barack Obama “the worst president in history” and vowed to “knock the hell” out of Washington.
Campaigning as a family-values conservative, Quayle first denied then admitted that he wrote for a sex-steeped Arizona website. Among the quotes on the site attributed to him: “My moral compass is so broken I can barely find the parking lot.”
Quayle also sent out a campaign mailer promoting his family values that flopped when it was revealed two little girls in the ad weren’t his children. He and his wife do not have kids.
The racy website’s founder, Nik Richie, said Quayle used the alias “Brock Landers” — the name of a character from the 1997 movie “Boogie Nights.” The website recently reposted the entries from 2007 and 2008.
In one entry, Richie said Quayle wrote: “Long story short, on a scale of 1-to-10, I’m awesome.” He boasted of his physique, comparing it to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
Quayle acknowledged that he “wrote a couple of satirical and fictional pieces for a satirical website” but that he quit doing so once the website shifted its editorial direction away from satire.
Quayle, 33, grew up in Indiana and Washington, D.C., and now works as a lawyer and managing director of a Scottsdale investment firm.
He has never held elected office, but he emerged as the top fundraiser and profited from name recognition that comes with being the son of the former Indiana senator and vice president.
One-time Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld contributed to his campaign and former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara hosted a fundraiser.
His missteps were reminiscent of the blunders by his father during his term as vice president, when he once famously misspelled potato at an event in a New Jersey classroom.
The younger Quayle’s candidacy irritated many Arizona politicians who had waited for years to see eight-term GOP Rep. John Shadegg retire, as he had announced in 2008 before being convinced by backers to run for one more term.
Quayle beat his closest challenger by about 5 percentage points.
He will take on Democrat Jon Hulburd, a Phoenix lawyer and businessman. Many believe the general election is a likely win for Republicans.