The one sentence I've said the most over the past 12 months is "This is an amazing experience." I'm sure there are no campaign books that suggest allowing your candidate to talk like an 8 year-old who just got off Space Mountain, but I don't think my actions would be in accord with much of that book anyway.
Heading into the last six days of a tough Primary, I am most proud that I didn't change. I stuck to the plan of following the ideals that got me into this race, keeping it issue focused, and, most importantly, positive. That is a hefty dose of self-congratulation, but as friends, I can tell you that the negative mail really wears you down; particularly when your wife gets the mail. One mailer is a disappointment. Two mailers are an annoyance. Six mailers and $40,000 spent on trying to make you out to be something you're not can be a bit of a downer.
But even with all that money, and all that noise, we never let it define the race. I will never tire of telling you that we ran the campaign we did because of the support of friends like you. You provided encouragement, discipline, empathy, support, and third-party evaluation of how things were being received in the public. You let me and my campaign team focus on Ellicott City, our message, and our optimism about what can be done with this seat.
The one reflection I have after 12 months of campaigning is that there is never "too small" an act when it comes to helping a candidate win. I have knocked on so many doors (too many to count) where the person who answers has said "I'm already voting for you based on the recommendation of one of my friends." Let's put this in context - one person spends an SUV's worth of their own money to tear a candidate down. Another spends three minutes saying "He's a good guy. I trust him." The latter wins. Every time.
We're not done. Far from it. But I would encourage you to appreciate and utilize your voice. Make a Facebook post with your recommendations. Bring the election up in conversation. Post a yard sign. Whatever you do, you are creating value to your family, friends, and neighbors. You are adding to a collective discussion that will determine the fate of our community.
And there are many people out there who just want to know who they can trust.
Have a great Wednesday doing what you love!