Congratulations and appreciation

As I hobble up to one of my big four-feet by eight-foot signs to cut its bindings and wiggle its supports from the ground, the result of the election I just endured still rings in my head. My opposition in the race to be supervisor for the Bermuda district in Chesterfield County had won. Dorothy Jaeckle did an outstanding job of holding back my attempts to unseat her.

She deserves a lot of credit. I now know what kind of energy it takes to run a political race. I know how hard she must have worked to continue her race from a primary to a general election. ----- months of organizing, asking political friends to fund her race and making an all out effort to remain the supervisor of her district.

My congratulations go out to Ms. Jaeckle. She won. It may have only been by 3 percent but she still charmed the voters in the end, that’s what counts. Did she have a more powerful committee supporting her than I? Did she know the job more intimately than I? Did she know how to run a campaign better than I? Did she have friends in higher places than I? This is for you to decide but I think it’s all true.

Dorothy found herself facing a contender and she brought out her best, tested her mettle and brought it home. That’s what a candidate is supposed to do: gather all your strengths, bring in the contributions and find your opponents’ weaknesses and put it all together into a powerful working machine.

And it’s always good to have a powerful working machine backing you when running for office. Dorothy deserves credit for aligning herself with such a machine that helps the candidates it supports move forward and over the line to success.

Facing such a formidable force was indeed humbling. Each day of the race I was counting down the days, knowing I had to be behind. Dorothy always had more signs, had walked more neighborhoods and put herself in front of more voters than I ever could.

Dorothy brought out the vote with a formidable phone bank at the last minute and, convincing voters to vote for Jaeckle on Nov. 8. Even though you certainly cannot rely on a significant portion of the voters to be informed on the issues, a candidate’s record or even paying much attention, a good job of bringing out a great number of your party is admirable.

But what about me?  You know I can’t get through this without talking about the Fausz for Supervisor effort. For a small group of plucky individuals we did an exceptional job. I was amazed at the number of voters who turned out to vote. Our little group deserves credit too for being part of the greatest tribute to this country - exercising your right to vote, your right to run for office and your right to support a candidate.

I found one thing more compelling and humbling than any election strategy or amount of work. It was the belief in me by those who worked on my campaign, who contributed money and who voted for me.  The compliment of their agreeing with my issues or supporting me personally turns me to jelly.

More than once, after returning from my mailbox while opening envelopes containing contributions, I was literally brought to tears of humility. As much as $1,000 in memory of a lost mate, the same from a friend I hadn’t seen in at least a year and the numbers of smaller donations from those who may not have been able to afford it, but wanted me, their friend, their cause to be successful. Even now, I am amazed by those who believed in me. Whether they supported me with money, work or kindness, I am more grateful than you could ever imagine. I love every one of you and promise I will remain indebted to you forever.

I certainly can’t forget the hard work of my family and the endless hours of work by my campaign manager. The amount of work I threw to Linda after leaving the newspaper, leaving her to work late hours then not being able to share her day because I was constantly on the phone or out doing what candidates do.  My family deserves and has my deepest gratitude and love.

There were also the organizations that supported me and had enough confidence in me to shower me with the magnanimity that only one who is in short supply of resources and sustainability can appreciate.

My friends, new and old, were supportive and hard working as well: installing signs, addressing letters and note cards, delivering flyers and doing the administrative stuff that seems to be never ending. Most of us were new at this and those who had traveled the campaign trail before risked scrutiny and ridicule by those who felt I was unworthy and unethical in running for office.

I remain vague about my thanks for fear of leaving someone out. There was such an outpouring of support that it’s hard to know all of those who poured their graciousness on me.

I gave it a shot and for what I thought was good reason. Now all we can do is put our trust in our supervisor to do what’s right and represent us a way I know she can. Good luck to Dorothy Jaeckle.

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