Horton Wilde was a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in the California 47th District (Orange County) – a Republican stronghold. He had suffered several heart attacks prior to his candidacy and suffered a fourth and fatal heart attack three weeks prior to the election. His name remained on the ballot, facing incumbent Republican Congressman Chuck Webb. Wilde's campaign was run by Will Bailey and Elsie Snuffin.
After traveling to California in advance of the presidential debate, Sam Seaborn met with Bailey to try and get him to give up on the campaign. After a second meeting, Seaborn told Bailey that he could tell Wilde's widow, Kay, that he would consider running in a special election if Wilde managed to win the election. ("Game On")
On Election Night, a variety of factors, including a sudden afternoon rainstorm and the President's good showing across the country, led Congressman Webb to concede the race although he planned to run in the special election.
Behind the scenes
- Horton Wilde is referenced only after his death. He never appears on-screen.