Well, we didn’t get the result we were hoping for today. But rest assured that while we were not victorious, we can hold our heads high for running a fair, truthful, and issues based campaign. As I have stressed to our team, no matter if we win or lose, it will be with integrity. I am very proud of the work we accomplished over the last year, and you all should be as well.
First, I want to congratulate Secretary Brown on her victory tonight. I hope as she reflects on her campaign, and the issues we discussed, that she will work towards the important and needed reforms we advocated – reforms like meaningful election reform, reducing red tape so businesses can focus on putting people back to work, and restructuring PERS. There is much to do that is crucial for Oregon other than ridding the state of an imaginary “extreme team”.
I also want to thank the other candidates in this race, Seth Wooley and Bob Wolfe. It has been a pleasure to get to know them over the last couple months through joint appearances and debates. I wish them both the best of luck on their next endeavors. The people of Oregon should recognize that when leaders from all parts of the political spectrum unite around the need for election reform there is a serious problem. We do not have a healthy democracy in Oregon. I will continue to push for election reform like I have the past two decades. I was encouraged reading yesterday that the leaders of the women’s suffrage movement in Oregon worked for 40 years on their election reform efforts. We will eventually overcome!
I also want to thank the many people who gave their time and money to our effort. Thank you to our financial supporters, from many of my patients, who gave $10 to $20, to Phil Knight and Jim Young, who gave tens of thousands. Thank you to the over 3000 people who donated to my campaign. This was a grassroots, Oregon based campaign. We couldn’t have done any of it without you. Thank you to our volunteers, Nancy Gast, Brent Norman, Denise Renner, Sharon Bishop, Chris and Greg Barreto and the hundreds of others who gave their personal time and countless hours to this important effort. Thank you also to my staff. It’s been a pleasure working with you all. A special mention to Joel Thomas who has proven himself as a tremendously talented campaign manager with a range of skills that are truly remarkable. But most importantly, i consider him a great friend. And finally, I want to thank my wife, Patty, the love of my life and my biggest supporter. This would not have been possible without her. And thanks to my two great kids, Hannah and Owen, for whom I have caused much embarrassment being in the public eye, for standing by me through this all – your never-ending support is the source of much strength for me.
While this campaign has been costly to me personally and professionally. I am a much better person for it all. I have reconnected with long lost friends. I have met many true Oregon patriots. I have gained an intimate knowledge of Oregon and its people. And I understand much better the incredible depth of love that my family and several friends have for me.
While I am disappointed that we did not win tonight, we can hold our heads high. We started some very important discussions surrounding the Secretary of State’s office. We were able to make this a high profile race. I am sure that many more people know what the office of the Secretary of State does in Oregon than did a year ago. These people now know that the office can be used to help Oregon small businesses create jobs. They know now that the office is supposed to be their watchdog and eliminate waste in state government. And they know that the office is there to ensure fair and transparent elections. Finally, we started a very important discussion about fixing PERS. I encourage all of our supporters to not stop here. We need to apply pressure and stand ready to help Secretary Brown to make sure these important tasks are done.
Although we didn’t win tonight, we survive to fight another day. So, tonight is not a time to discuss my future… for with a new day will come new strength, new thoughts, and a new direction. Thank you all, again, for your help and hard work.