"13 months ago we started an improbable, incredible journey together. And soon after, I hung a poster on the wall of my campaign office that has always had special meaning to me.
It’s a poster of Coach Lombardi, with my favorite quote of his, it reads: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”
Last night, Wisconsin re-elected Governor Walker. And for many of us, it feels a bit like getting knocked down. But if I’ve learned anything over the last 13 months, it is this – this state we ALL love…SO much…is full of people, and communities, that can take a hit, but that never waver in getting right back up.
For those of us who worked so hard, so passionately, and so tirelessly for a new direction…It’s ok to be disappointed.
But it’s not ok to NOT get back up. So that’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to dust ourselves off, and get right back on up.
Because the values we hold dear and the Wisconsin we stand up for…They are as important, and worth standing up for tonight and as they were yesterday, and the day before that AND the day before that.
No election outcome or political fight matters as much as the values we hold near and dear. We know we are all better off when everyone in every community across this great state has a fair shot to get ahead.
And we know a fair shot means great affordable public education, from kindergarten through university. In every community, for every family. No one who has dreams and is willing to work hard should be priced out of an education.
A fair shot means equality in pay and opportunities. It means women's right to make our own decisions regarding our bodies. It means preserving our great natural resources for future generations. It means the right for workers to collectively bargain. Increasing the minimum wage so people working full time can support themselves. It means a strong growing middle class. And it means a government that is working for the people, not deep pocketed donors and big moneyed special interests.
This campaign is over, but the fight for these values and that fair shot that is so important to Wisconsinites and our future is not.
I am so honored, and so humbled, to have won the support of so many. Touched by the time and hard work that family, friends, and total strangers have put into this effort.
Over the course of this campaign I’ve met so many amazing individuals who are committed to bettering their communities. It has been nothing short of inspiring.
Their stories are almost never those of politicians or candidates for office. They are the entrepreneurs bootstrapping their own small business. They are the neighbors and co-workers who give of their time to their community – through their church, perhaps a local Boys & Girls Club. They are the parents working multiple jobs to provide a better life for their kids.
And their stories are our story, as a state. Forever determined, focused, and committed to moving Forward.
We have so much to be proud of across this state. And while last night’s outcome is not what I’d hoped for, I am more optimistic than I thought possible about the ability of our state to conquer any challenge put in front of us.
I congratulate the Governor on a hard fought victory. We may not agree on much – but anyone who runs for higher office, subjects themselves to endless scrutiny and criticism, works incredibly hard and makes many personal sacrifices. And for this he has my respect.
I’m so grateful to everyone who has been a part of this effort. I will never forget all that you have done on my behalf. And I will never stop doing what I can to improve my community and serve others.
First and foremost, to my family. They have been a bedrock of support from day 1. First, My Mom Lainey and my Dad who passed away 6 years. My sisters and their spouses: Kathy & John, Sharon & Jeff and Michele & Derek. Thank you to my brother John and his wife, Tania. Thank you to my nieces and nephews.
The best part of campaigning is the great people I have met along the way and those I have deepened my friendships with. I can't tell you how deeply personal I feel about your encouragement and support every step of the way. Giving generously in terms of your time and money. This was truly a team effort and it is what gave me strength every moment of the last 13 months. So many of you worked your heart out because you believed in me and in a better Wisconsin, thank you!
Thank you to all the supporters and volunteers for all that you have done, and will continue to do going forward. Stay determined…stay focused…stay committed since there is nothing that can stop us from moving forward.