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Brother of First Lady Wins Primary Runoff for Senate

October 05, 1994| From Associated Press

MIAMI — Hugh Rodham, brother of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, easily won Tuesday's Democratic primary runoff for the U.S. Senate against a former radio talk show host who believes in a government cover-up of UFOs.

Rodham, who got eleventh-hour campaign help from his sister, had 58%, or 214,057 votes, to Mike Wiley's 42%, or 155,271 votes, with 97% of precincts reporting.

He now faces a long-shot challenge to popular Republican incumbent Sen. Connie Mack, grandson and namesake of the legendary owner and manager of baseball's Philadelphia Athletics.

"We have done this together, and together we will continue on and repeat this beautiful scene a month from now as victors," Rodham told supporters at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

"I've got to get a job tomorrow," Wiley said at a restaurant where he gathered with supporters. "It's over. I'm not running again. Leave me alone."

Tuesday's victory was "based in part on the fact that Rodham is a strong candidate," said consultant John Walker who worked on the successful campaign. "The other reason is that Mike Wiley, or whatever his name is, is cuckoo."

Although the Rodham campaign ridiculed Wiley and professed not to take him seriously, Mrs. Clinton was brought in over the weekend for a round of campaign appearances amid reports low voter turnout could hurt her brother's chances.

Wiley said Tuesday he wouldn't support Rodham in November.

"I can't support him," he said. "I have a certain amount of integrity. They said I was ashamed of my Jewish heritage. There was no way he was going to get my support after that."

Rodham and Wiley met in Tuesday's runoff after neither won a majority of votes in the four-way Sept. 8 Democratic primary.

The runoff revealed a weakness in the state's Democratic Party, said Richard Scher, a political scientist at the University of Florida.

"The Democratic Party had a responsibility to put on a candidate who could challenge Mack," he said. "Rodham is just not a political heavyweight."

Rodham, 44, campaigned on a platform of health care reform, a woman's right to choose abortion and tough environmental protection.

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