"Kentuckians are a strong, proud people, and we have achieved impressive economic benchmarks and overcome what seemed like insurmountable obstacles plaguing public education throughout the years. But, there is still much work to be done. We must embrace new ideas."
I would like to start by thanking those throughout the 62nd House District who voted for me, my supporters who were there every step of the way, and especially my family. They sacrificed so much so I could run this race, and it means the world to me.
I also want to thank Phil Pratt for his public service and for winning tonight. Although we are on the opposite side of many issues, we must never forget that, at the end of the day, we are all Kentuckians. I will not hesitate to voice concerns in the future if necessary, but I sincerely wish him well as politics now gives way to governing.
No matter what had happened tonight, I want all of you to know that I will always appreciate and never forget how many of you came together on my behalf. and on behalf of those I sought to represent.
As a high school social studies teacher, I tell my kids every year how important it is to do their part as a citizen. Many think I’m just talking about voting, which is extremely important, but it goes deeper than that.
Each of us also has a responsibility to hold our government accountable, to make sure that our voice is heard and acted upon.
That lesson became reality to me back in January, when I knew I couldn’t just stand by when my profession and my students were being challenged by the very people who are supposed to represent us.
That’s when I decided to run for this office.
I couldn’t talk the talk with my students if I wasn’t ready to walk the walk.
Well, after running through a couple of pairs of tennis shoes this spring, summer and fall, I can tell you that I’ve walked ... and walked :.. and walked some more.
What I saw during those many miles, though, makes me feel even better about who we are and what we stand for in the 62nd House District. Although we weren’t successful this campaign, I made many new friends and strengthened old friendships. I also have a much deeper understanding of what it takes for our communities to succeed.
Like it is everywhere else in Kentucky, education is a top priority, and I spoke to so many who also said how important it is to stand up for working families, not stand on them just so we can give those who have much even more.
I have a deeper appreciation of our values, and the need for us to get our fair share. As they say, if you’re not at the table, you’re probably on the menu. Well, for many of us; it feels like we’ve been on the menu for the last two years. That must change.
We also must demand more transparency and to make sure we have more input in the laws that affect us. We need more policies that pull us together, not pull us apart: We deserve that, at the very least.
I want to talk about Lena and how how much I saw her grow during this campaign. She was more than a daughter during the past nine or so months. She was a supporter, a helper, and a source of advice and inspiration.
She was great to walk door to door with and to hand out dog treats, and she never failed to perk me up when I had had a hard day.
She also represents to me the future we all want for our children and grandchildren. Those of us who run for office or support those who run should always have a Lena of their own in mind when they think about the future.
We must never forget that our leaders’ decisions don’t just affect the here and now; they also have an impact that can extend for generations. I think if we had more leaders who thought like that, Frankfort would be a much better place. My hope is that, over the next two years, we will at least see that viewpoint take root.
There’s much more I could say; but I’d like to end by thanking all of you again for everything you have done. This race was a true team effort, and I never forgot that.
This contest may be over, but the issues we fought for are still there; and I have no intention of abandoning them now. There’s just too much at stake, so all I can say is, stay tuned.