Late last night, I called Senator Puller to congratulate her on her re-election to the Virginia Senate.
As I said from the beginning of this race, it would be the toughest one I’ve ever run — for a number of reasons. It’s always difficult to defeat an incumbent, but especially one in a tailor-made district gerrymandered especially for that person. We had more than double the ground to cover than in our past campaigns, with less than half the time (notwithstanding the distraction of a primary), and we had significant catching up to overcome in both time and resources.
In order to have won this race, we would have needed everything to align correctly. Unfortunately, that just didn’t happen this time. While I am gratified that we won in Prince William and Stafford counties (mind you, in the most Democratic parts of both counties), the clock simply ran out on us being able to get the margins we needed in Prince William and to minimize our losses in Fairfax.
Notwithstanding, we did an incredible amount in 5 short months, and that would not have been possible without the generous financial support of hundreds, and more importantly, the time, dedication, and commitment from so many of you. You know who you are.
When we first discussed getting into this race, I said that we’d be leaning on volunteers and friends more than ever given the fact that Amy and I aren’t young married twenty-somethings anymore with only a dog at home. And so many of you stepped up, took ownership of this campaign, and in the end, helped us do more than we could have imagined would have been possible in such a short period of time.
To say “thank you” would be a major understatement. But, lacking more adequate words, in as most a sincere way as Amy and I can say it: thank you. Thank you!
And while we did not cross the line first in this race we just ran, Amy and I both agree that we couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people to be running along side of us, cheering us on, lifting us up in prayer, and there at the finish line ready and willing to do it all over again. We have been so blessed by so many of you. This campaign gave us the opportunity to rekindle old friendships and establish new ones that will surely endure many years to come.
I also have been blessed by an amazing wife who has once again truly been my partner in every possible way, and three kids who understood (to varying degrees) that this campaign was about serving others and helping people. While I regret that I won’t have the opportunity to serve our community as a state senator, I am very grateful to be able to focus now on serving the 4 most important people in my life: Amy, Gracie, Isabel, and Michael.
Our extended family, too, could not have been more encouraging and supportive. You’ll be seeing a lot more of us now, and we look forward to it.
I’d be remiss to not mention how proud we are of the job our campaign team did, especially our full time staff of Mick, Willie, and Rachel, and our longtime friend and strategist Brent. And, living in Montclair now, Amy and I are heartened by the fact that our neighborhood turned out for us in large numbers and were a major force in our victory in Prince William.
Finally, I want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is my rock. While I have no idea what He has planned for me, I trust in whatever that plan is and am excited to see it unfold in His time.
Teddy Roosevelt once said: “The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena… who, at the worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
We’ve had a lot of victories, and now, we have our first defeat. It’s more fun to win, but I’m nevertheless glad to have had the chance to be in the arena, even if it ultimately ended up in defeat.
God bless you and again, sincerely, thank you.