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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

ELECTION DAY: 11:06 PM EST - What I'm feeling right now

Earlier this evening, a very dear friend called me up. She said that she knew tonight was going to be "a big night for you". I never doubted her. And you know what? She was right.

This is going to sound completely crazy to a lot of people, but: I didn't win my first election... and I don't know if I could feel any more happy than I'm feeling right now.

Out of 16 contenders, I finished 8th place, with 4,584 votes. I wound up in the top half of the finishers. From the very beginning of this thing, I had told everyone that if I only got ten votes, I would be happy. I got almost 46000% of that. And considering that this was my very first time in the political arena - not to mention the fact that a little over four months ago running for school board was the furthest thing from my mind - well...

I'm really feeling very stunned at the outcome of tonight's election. In a very positive way.

I came into this race with a message. Tonight, almost forty-six hundred of my neighbors said they agreed with what I was saying with that message. For that, for everyone who chose to support me by casting a ballot in my favor, I am going to forever be more thankful than I know if I'll ever be able to show. Forty-six hundred is a lot of people. I knew that even if I was elected, all by myself I could never set this world on fire... but a great flame can still burst from the smallest embers. And there's a lot of potential in forty-six hundred people. If God has used me in this to get just one person to think about what's going on around us, then I fulfilled my purpose in running.

Tonight was an affirmation for me. And it didn't matter whether I won or not. For years people have been telling me that I should seek public office. I had no idea when or even if I should have really sought that. But not after tonight. I may not have won the election... but more than any other time since I first became a Christian, tonight I feel as if I am definitely on the path that God has wanted for my life.

It was a good campaign, and I'm as proud of it as anyone could possibly be. It was a positive, clean campaign that never lashed out or otherwise denigrated anyone else. I would say that it was a very successful campaign even. I mean, how many first-time candidates, with their first-ever political ad - that they made themselves - wind up getting their pictures in The New York Times?

And I'm coming out of this election with a considerable portfolio of not just news-clippings, but three self-produced commercials and some print advertising. A friend suggested that I should set myself up as a political consultant after this. At the very least that was a heck of a lot of creative content that came from me for this.

Tonight, I'm not the same person who filed the papers to run back at the beginning of August. These past three months have been the most amazing growth experience that I've had in a very long time. And the thing of it is: I did grow a lot... but I never grew away from who I really am.

It's late. I've only slept two hours since waking up on Monday morning. I'm going to go to sleep and get a long night's rest... maybe the best that I've had in awhile. Tomorrow I'm going to post more about what happened tonight, and probably include some analysis of how the votes broke down.

But tonight, I get to go to bed a happy man. My wife is proud of me. My parents are proud of me. My best friends are proud of me. And I'm proud of what I've done with this race too. Just think: if I did this good my first time out, how much better might I do if I ever choose to run again in the future?

Thank you for bearing with me today, dear friends, as I strived to give you a blow-by-blow depiction of what it's like to be a candidate on election day... not to mention throughout the process of this entire campaign. I really hope that other people might read about my experiences in running and think to themselves: "I could do that. I can do that. Maybe I will do that!"

'Til later, take care, and God bless.

And to EVERYONE who has supported me throughout this thing: thank you... and you're going to get the proper credit real soon :-)