Concept

Ron Packard

Summary
Ronald C. Packard (born January 19, 1931) is a retired Republican politician from California who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 2001. Packard was born and raised in Meridian, Idaho. He attended Meridian High School, Brigham Young University, Portland State University, and University of Oregon Dental School (now the Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry), where he received a D.M.D. in 1957. He was in the Navy Dental Corps during 1957–1959, and worked as a dentist after leaving the Navy. Packard first entered politics as a trustee of the Carlsbad Unified School District in California, and served during 1962–1974. He was elected to the Carlsbad City Council in 1976, then elected Mayor of Carlsbad in 1978. While mayor, he was active in community and regional affairs, serving on the transportation policy committee of the League of California Cities, as a Director of North County Transit District, and as President of the Council of Mayors for San Diego County. In 1982, Packard lost the Republican primary for the United States House of Representatives in a crowded field of candidates to Johnnie Crean by 92 votes.Barone, Michael; and Ujifusa, Grant. The Almanac of American Politics 1988', p. 176. National Journal, 1987. Crean's character came into issue, with his negative ads and false claim of endorsement by Ronald Reagan, so Packard launched a campaign as a write-in candidate. Packard ran a poll which found that voters would vote for him, especially if they knew how to write him in. Packard campaigned with a gigantic pencil as a prop while giving out golf pencils to district residents. An organized effort among fellow Mormons helped the campaign. Packard won the election by 11,000 votes to become the first independent write-in candidate to defeat candidates of both the Democratic and Republican parties. NPR's Ken Rudin described the race this way:Eighteen Republicans were running in the primary for the seat being vacated by Rep. Clair Burgener (R).
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