Democrat Jill Long, the upset winner in a special election for the House seat once held by Dan Quayle, received a congratulatory call today from an embarrassed and disappointed vice president, who had helped campaign against her.
“He wished me well and congratulated me and offered to assist in any way because he’s committed to the Fourth District,” said Long, whose victory after two previous failed campaigns ended a 13-year Republican hold on the district. Long, 36, a business professor, won 51% of the vote to 49% for Republican Dan Heath.
Republican Party Chairman Lee Atwater said in Washington he was “ashamed” the GOP had lost. “I have no excuses. We should have won that race. I am very surprised we lost it,” he said. Atwater paid the winner a backhanded compliment when he said she “ran a campaign I would have been proud of” that included plenty of attacks against Heath.