Congratulations to all election winners and a sincere thank you to all candidates.
It takes a lot to run a campaign, time and money being just the tip of the iceberg. When you're a candidate, you've got so many places to be and people to meet, other things - like yard or house work - tend to fall by the wayside. You end up relying on friends and family to take up the slack, run errands, and assume responsibility for the tasks you traditionally do. They do this gladly, as they obviously support your efforts, but it's never easy.
While there are many downsides to being a candidate, there are also many rewards. To participate in such a public way in the political process, offer your ideas and see that many people support them, inspire others who enter the political scene because of you...these things make your efforts worthwhile.
When you enter a race, you obviously want to win. But the best campaign advice I ever had was to have a goal other than winning. In my first race, my goal was to make sure that people knew what a Clerk of Court did so that they could make a good decision. In my last campaign, because I filled a vacancy on the ballot, it was to make sure that the voters had a choice. On election night, regardless of the outcome, I knew that I had accomplished that goal.
Today, there are winners who are celebrating. But those who "lost" the seats they sought also have a reason to celebrate. Because of them, the voters were given options. We were inspired by their ideas, gave thought to their perspectives and had good discussions about the issues our community, state and nation face.
Regardless of the individual you supported, you and I - indeed, everyone - owes a thank you to the many people who put themselves forward and offered us a choice on election day.