It’s time for one last post before putting our campaign to bed.
Since learning of our loss yesterday, many people have called or written to ask how I’m doing. I’m doing just fine, thank you. You can’t run for office if you can’t take defeat, and from the beginning it was clear that winning this race would be a heavy lift. I’m proud of the campaign we ran, proud of all of you who helped out, and proud of the trust you placed in me to advocate for what we know is best for kids.
During the campaign, I met hundreds of people and made many friends. I also learned some valuable lessons.
- People value high-quality public schools for all students, and they are looking for candidates with a positive vision for education and society.
- Despite the distrust that exists between different segments of our diverse district–as in society itself–we have more in common than we sometimes realize.
- You’re never too old to develop greater self-understanding. Campaigning taught me things about myself. This isn’t the place for specifics: ask me sometime, preferably over a pint.
- Regardless of their political persuasion, candidates–especially entry-tier candidates–are heroes. I met many wonderful candidates giving freely of their time, talents, money, and energy to make things better.
- “Commitment, service, and leadership” isn’t just a slogan: it’s a summation of what we should demand of officeholders in general and State School Board members in particular.
So, to answer the question several people have asked: If I had known a year ago that this would be the result, would I do it again? Oh, yes. I wouldn’t have missed it.
All of which doesn’t make losing less painful, but it helps to keep a sense of proportion. My race was just a small footnote in a much larger, historic election. If Campaign 2016 was a national tragedy, as I believe, then in that context my own setback will seem pretty small.
A lot of people are sad today. Let’s pray for our country and, especially, her children.
This post originally appeared on the website of my 2016 campaign for State Board of Education, http://bill4board.us.