I have taken a full week to almost fully recover from sleep deprivation, starvation, and lack of proper exercise resulting from a relentless effort towards victory. I have been able to reflect on the experience in depth since Election Day. Now that the 2011 elections have concluded and the transition is beginning in earnest, I would like to offer some final personal thoughts on my 2011 campaign experience.
Congratulations to Supervisor-Elect Janet Clarke and School Board Member-Elect Debbie Rose. Janet garnered a resounding victory against an entrenched 16-year incumbent on Election Day with a 57%-43% win and a 1,083 vote margin of victory. Debbie defeated the Chairman of the Loudoun County School Board in the most hotly contested School Board race in Loudoun County in the Algonkian District.
I am proud to be the lead consultant for these two fine ladies. I am also proud of the campaigns we ran. In the face of adversity, both campaigns were squeaky clean, inclusive, family-friendly campaigns that brought hope and inspiration to Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike. The campaign strategy, mail pieces, websites, and literature I designed on these two campaigns are my best work and represent my mantra of winning with class, character, honesty, integrity, and perseverance.
Janet and Debbie’s campaign managers, Susanna Foote and Jennifer Passey respectively, were dedicated, diligent ladies who were fine advocates for their bosses and a perfect fit for their respective campaigns. Susanna, especially, is a woman with a joyful, yet determined fighting spirit and her tireless work ethic generated positive results.
Most of all, I am proud of Janet and Debbie themselves. They are the candidates in their respective races. They made the professional and personal sacrifices to endure the daily drudgeries of a boots-on-the-ground grassroots campaign to reach out to all voters in Loudoun County from knocking on doors, making phone calls, attending community events, going to high school football games, organizing their communities, raising funds, and even personally delivering yard signs. Their steadfast diligence on the campaign trail will translate into steadfast diligence in office. Most importantly, they are women of upstanding character and will serve as great role models for our youth. I am ecstatic about their accomplishments and I am excited for what the future holds.
Disclosure: Janet Clarke and Debbie Rose are my top two clients as a lead consultant in 2011. You can read my endorsement post here.
Some additional thoughts on the Janet Clarke for Supervisor campaign…
I especially left everything I had out on the field for Janet. I was out of gas two weeks before Election Day and was running on empty through the final stretch with very little food and very little sleep on top of it all. Worse, I had very little exercise and I get cranky when I can’t get my weight lifting done. I worked late and ended up sleeping on the floor in Janet’s office for an hour and a half with no blanket or sleeping bag before Election Day and was struggling to make it through Election Day at the polls. I crashed on the couch immediately at the Election Night party and I was told by a friend that she sat on my feet and I never even noticed. I was out cold! Those last two weeks of the campaign felt like a lifetime, yet they paradoxically went by so fast.
Janet had her victory party last Saturday night. It was a large, poignant community gathering of friends and supporters; a homecoming for a hometown hero. It felt a lot like the final scene of the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” with a bit of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” in the mix. Capra-esque I say.
I want to thank Janet and her campaign for giving me the best experience of my career in politics. I have I worked in subordinate capacities in other campaigns where I wanted to run away from the office and my coworkers as fast as I could at the conclusion of the campaign because the people I worked under and alongside were just horrible and mean, even though we pulled off victories. This is not the case here.
With Janet, I got the opportunity to help run a campaign with a candidate and a campaign manager who share my values and believe that winning with decency and dignity are paramount to simply winning. I have met too many political consultants and candidates who believe in the ideal publicly, but believe in winning at all costs in private. In the face of seemingly overwhelming negativity, Janet’s campaign stayed true to our highest ideals. That is the only way we know how to do business. This campaign defines my career. It does not get any better than this.
At the conclusion of Janet’s victory party last Saturday, I stayed to help clean up and ended up taking the long way home through Loudoun County stopping by the campaign office and passing through all the communities that have been home to me for the past 12 months (I live in Fairfax County, but I’m hardly ever there anymore.). The clean up took awhile and I was in no rush to leave the last event closing out this storybook campaign. As I watched “the load out” at the venue, I wanted to “stay…just a little bit longer.”
I try not to say the word “love” often because I believe its overuse has reduced the impact of its meaning. Love to me is much deeper than a feeling. Love is sacrifice. Much love goes out to all of my friends. I would do anything for you all and I would do it all over again.
Disclosure: Janet Clarke is a dear friend of mine. Janet, our staff, and our friends mean the world to me.