Well, like the song says, and as expected, I’m a loser. I’d like to be gracious, congratulate my opponent on running a great campaign and wish him a successful term. I’d like to but I can’t. 😀
Look, I ran because I was not and am not happy with the state of affairs. And if you voted for me, I assume you felt the same. So I simply cannot be sanguine. My assumption is that the Deputy Mayor will only continue with the current agenda that caused me to run in the first place.
I do want to thank everyone who supported me. I can’t tell you what it meant to me. I also want to acknowledge the things I could’ve done better.
When I started, I was under the impression that I would get support from various people in town who would help me figure out what to do and how to raise money. For reasons I won’t go into here that did not happen, so I just started ‘doorbelling’; determined to win by dint of shoe leather alone. And though it was -great- in terms of actually learning about people’s needs, it clearly was not enough to win. I somewhat arrogantly avoided traditional ‘networking’ because I felt then (and still feel) that there is something a bit oily about the whole business of fundraising. I am still not thrilled at how much money the candidates had to raise in order to be competitive. That doesn’t feel ‘right’ to me; not in a small town like Des Moines. But let’s face it: my opponent basically just put out a zillion yard signs and then ran an absentee campaign. So clearly, to a certain, extent money does matter.
The other thing is that, from Day one, I was told over and over how I was going to lose. I mean, even people who voted for me told me they already knew I was in a ‘noble’ lost cause. And I suppose I bought into that a bit. I confess that it did give me a certain ‘freedom’; I literally didn’t lose any sleep over the campaign. I never worried about saying or doing the wrong thing–like a normal candidate would. Unlike all other (sensible) candidates I told people exactly what I would do if I won, at least in part because I was never worried about losing votes.
Which means that today, I am not feeling particularly downhearted for myself. In fact, I’m actually a bit energised by the whole experience. My only regret is that I didn’t fund raise like a ‘real’ candidate, which is what you deserved. By the time I figured out that I actually could win, and how to win, it was simply too late in the game.
So I want you to know that I know how I let you down. We need change here now. And to the extent that I could’ve campaigned better to make that happen? I am truly sorry. But I also want you to know that I will continue to fight for the issues I ran on: our health, the airport, the over-industrialisation, the lack of concern for neighbourhoods and the lack of open government in Des Moines. And when the next election comes round, I will likely be back in the race, but hopefully with a much better campaign. I still believe that we deserve a different future for Des Moines and I promise to do whatever I can to help get us there.