The great moment -- the moment Dan Crane had given 14 months of his life for -- finally came at 2:09 p.m. yesterday when the friendly dentist from Danville, Ill., stood up in the chamber of the House of Representatives to be sworn in as the new congressman from Illinois' 22nd District. The District had been the subject of The Washington Post's 24-part "Running" series, which chronicled the personal dimensions of a race for the House.

The 42-year-old Republican, with his 2-year-old daughter, Beth, perched cozily on his arm, closed his eyes and stood perfectly still as the oath of office was read. As soon as it ended, though, he flashed a huge grin to his wife, Judy, who was beaming with pride in the family gallery, and accepted a fraternal handshake from his older brother, Rep. Philip Crane (R-Ill.).

For the 22nd's new congressman, the ceremonies ended quickly and Crane went back to his office to find his first request for constituent service in the afternoon mail. "Congratulations on your election from the 51st District," the letter read. "We know that some representatives send free flags to schools. Our school's flag is very old..."