Radley reported it here when the AP announced that Rep. J.D. Hayworth had been defeated in Arizona. But Hayworth actually refused to concede the election that night. He fought the result in the hopes that absentee ballots would shrink, then reverse, Democrat Harry Mitchell's lead of about 5500 votes. Cue the cartoon "wah-wah" trumpets: The recount actually expanded the lead, to 6500. Yesterday, Hayworth finally conceded.
Hayworth's defeat wouldn't be worth going over if he was just another endangered Republican. He happened to be the most vocal, telegenic advocate of Tancredo-style border reform, and he represented a district that voted for Bush over Kerry by 9 points. If it looks like the GOP is taking a dive on illegal immigration and moving towards a McCain-Kennedy compromise, this is one of the reasons why—as much of a watershed on immigration as Tom Foley's 1994 defeat was on 2nd amendment issues. Check out one of Hayworth's ads and see exactly what Arizonans rejected.
Start your day with Reason. Get a daily brief of the most important stories and trends every weekday morning when you subscribe to Reason Roundup.