Democratic Congressional candidate Jon Hulburd got trampled in the District Three Congressional race by Congressman-elect Ben Quayle last night. But he wasn't a dick about it, which is more than we can say about former TV pitchman -- and one-time candidate for U.S. Senate -- J.D. Hayworth.
By about 9 p.m. yesterday, it was fairly clear that Hulburd had lost the race. And, like most politicians on the losing end of a campaign, he swallowed his pride and called Quayle.
"It was brief," Quayle's campaign manager, David French, tells New Times. "He congratulated Ben, and said he looked forward to having him be his congressman, or something like that."
These concessionary/ congratulatory conversations must be awkward, especially when the two people having them have often spent the past several months beating the political shit out of each other. But they are the norm, and happen in almost every race -- unless you're Hayworth.
After getting blown out by Senator John McCain in the GOP Senate primary in August, which many political pundits inaccurately forecasted as the fight of McCain's political life, Hayworth didn't even bother to pick up the phone.
"It's obviously classless, but not at all surprising to folks who've watched Hayworth for any amount of time," a McCain aide told New Times at the time. "He basically did the same thing after Mitchell beat him in 2006 - refused to concede on election night and actually never gave a speech that night to thank his supporters and staff."
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Like the Quayle/ Hulburd race, Hayworth's battle with McCain was ugly. But Hulburd had the decency to pick up the phone.
So, props to Jon Hulburd for losing with class. As for Hayworth: Arizona dodged a bullet.