OK, as a Republican I could have picked a better year to make my first run for political office.
But as I told the audience last night at the Scottsdale Hilton, we took on what everyone viewed as an impossible task, against all odds, and we gave it our best shot.
We mobilized the grassroots in ways that have not been seen in Arizona for many years. We ran a grassroots campaign because it was the right thing to do, but also because it was our only option. You simply can’t cut through tens of millions of dollars of political ads with a few hundred thousand dollars.
In a Democratic year, we were up against an elections system that benefits incumbents, with a largely uncritical media content to allow a Democratic Governor to run on Republican accomplishments.
Since the Governor ran on conservative ideas like being tough on the border and cutting taxes, and since she didn’t present much of an agenda for the next four years, I’d like to invite her to go with our entire 100 day conservative reform agenda — I won’t be needing it anytime soon.
It was my great honor to be the gubernatorial nominee of the Republican Party in this election. We ran hard, we were aggressive in our critiques of the Governor’s record and positions, but we did not resort to lies, distortions or personal attacks.
As I told the Governor last night, I will continue as I have done for the past four years to pray for her as she leads this great state, and I want to encourage all of you who have been praying for me to do the same.
To those of you who committed so much time, energy and prayer to this effort, I can never possibly repay you, and Tracy and I and our kids will be forever grateful.
Traveling throughout our great state and meeting tens of thousands of my fellow citizens was one of the best experiences of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The relationships that have formed and been strengthened in the midst of this campaign are worth it in themselves.
I believe in living life with no regrets. This life is an adventure, and we are only here for a season. I remain committed to leaving it all out on the playing field of life, and to continuing to engage our state and nation on the important issues of our time.
When I began to participate in battles over important policy issues 20 years, one of the first political axioms I learned was this — no political victory or defeat is ever final. Everything is up for grabs all the time. It is up to us to engage for the things we believe in and for the great principles of our democracy.
If you are discouraged tonight — and you should be — let that motivate you to be more engaged, more active and more dedicated next time. After the American people remember what it is like to be ruled by liberals, our political prospects will improve.
You better believe I will continue to be engaged.
In the meantime, this blog has been so much fun that I’m going to continue to post, so long as I can figure out how to convert this thing to a non-campaign website without drawing another complaint to Clean Elections. Stay tuned!
And thank you!