Ron Packard won a write-in campaign in California's 43rd Congressional District against an opponent who spent $1 million.
Packard, 51, is a former mayor of Carlsbad, a small oceanside community in San Diego county. He has held various local bipartisan elective offices in Carlsbad for the past 18 years.
On both social and economic issues, Packard is a conservative Republican. He opposes abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment and supports the president's economic policies.
In Congress, Packard will take an interest in military matters. A number of military installations, such as Camp Pendleton and the El Toro Marine base, are located in his district, which includes southern Orange and northern San Diego counties. A former school district trustee, Packard is also interested in education.
Packard has shared a dental practice with his two brothers for the last 25 years. He quit his practice to wage a write-in campaign after losing last June's Republican primary by 92 votes.
The 43rd is such a Republican district that, in the normal course of things, the general election is not so much an election as the coronation of the Republican nominee. But this year's nominee, from a field of 18, was Johnnie Crean, who apparently was perceived as using his wealth to buy the primary election while lacking in political experience.
An energetic and affable grandfatherly type, Packard was urged by supporters to wage a write-in campaign. It was a triumph of old-time politics. Some 2,600 volunteers tirelessly walked precincts and manned tables at every polling place on Election Day with information on how to cast a write-in ballot.
Packard attended Brigham Young University and Portland State College before graduating from the University of Oregon Dental School in 1957. He and his wife, Jean, have seven children and 11 grandchildren.