Two years ago, Monica and I agreed we would not stand by and watch the painful attacks on Arizona – the damage done to our neighborhood schools, the insecurity of unbalanced state budgets, and the budget cuts that have ravaged so many of our friends and neighbors.
Instead, we decided to do everything we could to make Arizona work again. We agreed – together with all of you – that we would speak out honestly and rationally to counter the fear-mongering and divisive rhetoric that has overtaken our politics.
Our vision has been one of returning to the teamwork and bipartisan cooperation that built Arizona and overcame immense obstacles for generations.
Our hopeful messages have sometimes been obscured by the turmoil of national issues and the furor over immigration. It certainly was not a great year to run as a Democrat. But we tried to play the cards we’d been dealt, and to do the very best job we could do.
Across Arizona, thousands of your worked and fought alongside us, believing, as we do, in the values that matter most to Arizona families. Despite the greatest turnout effort I have ever witnessed in Arizona, and an incredible narrowing of the gap in the last few weeks, we know we will not win tonight.
But we made one Hell of an effort.
More importantly, we have pointed the way to a more secure, more united and more prosperous future for our beloved state.
As I have said so often during this campaign, restoring jobs has to be the primary obligation of Arizona’s governor. I have spelled out how that can be done.
We can never recover economically when our schools are last in the nation. There, too, I have been clear about the course we should take.
At its essence, this campaign has been about the next generation of Arizonans, our children. That includes my son, your youngsters, and the one million other children in Arizona’s public schools. For them, last place is just not an option. Arizona must do better.
Although we did not prevail tonight, I am confident Arizona will embrace this vision someday soon, if we keep the faith and build on what we have done together.
My deep thanks go to the small but incredibly dedicated Goddard for Governor campaign staff, and to the thousands of volunteers who joined with us to give of their time and themselves to move this cause forward.
I thank the hundreds of thousands of Arizona voters who believed in me and stood with us. I am more grateful than I can possibly say.
I thank Monica and Kevin. Their sacrifice has been great. Although I’m disappointed by tonight’s outcome, I confess I look forward to having much more time for hiking and camping with them in the months ahead.
I wish Jan Brewer good fortune in leading our great state. I pray she will have the wisdom and vision to see us through the economic and budget challenges that threaten us today. I pray she will fulfill the sacred trust the people of Arizona have given her.
May God bless and keep Arizona as our very special place in the world.