Now that the election is over and the results are in, I must admit that I am thrilled, proud, humbled and anxious to move on to the work at hand.
But first I have a large group of people to thank, people who worked tirelessly to help me along the way.
This whole election thing was a journey, one that was totally new to me. And, at those times when I felt I was making the trip alone, there was always — always — someone who stepped up to offer a suggestion, encouragement, advice and very clear and strong direction.
There was Democratic Party Chairperson Beth Harrick, a true leader who became a dear friend. There was Chris Hardie, Alison Zajdel, Dakota Collins, Josh Smith and John Clodfelter, who provided their immense talents and expertise to my effort.
There was Mayor Dave Snow and council members Doug Goss, Kelley Cruse Nicholson and Jeff Locke and City Clerk Karen Chasteen, whose sage advice and direction helped me stay on course. There were my fellow candidates, Nick Dunlap, Sue Roberson and Yvonne Washington, with whom it was such a great pleasure and thrill to make this journey. I hope your involvement in this process and our government will continue.
There were the Young Democrats, Earlham Democrats, Barb Woolard, Ron Itnyre, Jim Rogers and Jane Stowe, who walked with me and encouraged me when I wondered if I was doing the right thing. We started walking in 90-degree heat and ended up bundled, and trudging, with temps in the 40s.
I am in your debt.
And then there was Bruce Wissel whose selfless and courageous endorsement carried me through to the end. Knowing that he put his faith in me meant so much. His leadership and intellect on council will be missed.
Thank you, friend.
And there was my wife, Jeanne, who calmed me down, built me up and put things in perspective so that I could keep my focus.
No one does that better.
And there were the people who donated, my family and friends, former co-workers and concerned citizens who trusted in me.
I will not let you down.
And there was Christian Sharits who told me “You are not running against Republicans. You are running against apathy.”
You, my friend, are wise beyond your years.
I sincerely wish more people had voted. I struggle with that after each election because voting has always been so important to me. That continues to be our challenge as candidates and legislators, to engage all parts of our community.
But it is what it is and we as a community of the concerned now have to do our best to represent our city and its citizens, to make wise decisions and help Richmond grow in the most progressive way.
To my opponent, Samantha Bryant, I offer my sincere congratulations. You ran a great campaign. You should be proud and I hope you will remain involved.
To all the other candidates, Republicans or otherwise, thank you for your efforts. Be proud and hold fast to your love of this city.
This journey is over but another one has begun. I look forward to what’s ahead, bolstered by the support, guidance and love I have felt along the way.
Thanks again to all.