Ben Quayle wins GOP primary despite web site controversy

Ben Quayle, the son of the former vice president, overcame a pair of scandals to clinch the GOP nomination for Rep. John Shadegg's (R-Ariz.) seat.

The Associated Press declared Quayle the winner with 23 percent of the vote. Businessman Steve Moak (R), former state Sen. Jim Waring (R), and Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker (R) rounded out the top four.
 

ADVERTISEMENT
Shadegg's retirement prompted 10 candidates to jump into the race for his seat —including Quayle, an attorney. The race was shaken up in the final weeks by news that Quayle wrote for a website called dirtyscottsdale.com, which featured revealing photos of Phoenix-area women.

The association almost cost him any chance he had at the Republican nomination.

But Quayle sought to limit the fallout by changing the subject with the release of a controversial TV ad less than 24 hours after being linked to the racy website.

Quayle called President Obama "the worst president in history" in the 30-second spot. "Somebody has to go to Washington and knock the hell out of the place," he said in the ad.

Quayle was also criticized for a mailer his campaign sent out that depicted him in playful scenes with two young girls. Quayle and his wife are childless, which made the family-man scene appear staged. The girls turned out to be his nieces.

Former state Sen. Pamela Gorman, one of the leading female candidates in the race, tried to make the website an issue.
 
"I think it's a judgment and maturity issue," Gorman said of Quayle's involvement with the website. "Usually you don't try to run for your first political office as a U.S. congressman within just a couple years of this — put some daylight between your childhood and your adulthood before you want to earn the votes of Arizonans."
 
Former Vice President Dan Quayle authored a last-minute e-mail defending his son, which may have helped push him over the line.
 
Moak’s fundraising — he took in $1.1 million, including $600,000 of his own money — kept him competitive. But name recognition — and the more than $1.3 million Quayle raised — won out in the end.

He faces Democrat Jon Hulburd in November. Arizona's 3rd district leans Republican.