6/9/10: Joining forces to make a stronger team in November!
Below is the prepared text of my speech from yesterday where I ended my campaign for Congress and announced my full support of Mark Greenberg.
When I entered the race for the 5th Congressional district on November 7, 2009, it was because I felt that we needed a strong conservative in Washington in order to undo the damage career politicians have done to our country. I could not in good faith sit idly by and watch the country I love so much being torn apart piece by piece. Two weeks later, my wife and I found out we were expecting our first child and the campaign suddenly became more personal for me. Our campaign theme of ‘Common Sense for Connecticut’ seemed not only timely but simple and the large group of volunteers who stepped up to help us was nothing short of incredible.
Over the past seven months I have spent a tremendous amount of time speaking with the citizens of the 5th district. These people have made it very clear that they want a real change this November. They have told me they do not want another politician or party insider who will simply go to Washington and become part of the system. I have spent time with all of the candidates in this race at various forums and have found that Mark Greenberg is far and away the most in line with my values and principles. We often joke about who the bigger ‘outsider’ in the race is!
Both Mark and I believe that it will take a true outsider to fix the problems we face in the district, state, and country. We both have been advocates for an open primary process where the voices of all the voters could be heard and would ultimately decide our nominee. To that end, I want to share a story about Mark Greenberg and the quality of people he surrounds himself with. Several weeks ago, I got a call from Mark’s campaign manager that there was going to be a forum in Simsbury and I was not included in the original release of attendees. Of the other four candidates in the race, only Mark’s staff called about the omission and gave me the contact information to make sure that I called and was included.
One of the interesting things that I found during the past several months is that supporters of both Mark and myself seem to be of like minds….essentially we have been dividing the grassroots support in the district. Volunteers have been collecting signatures for us to get on the primary ballot and many have told me they wish they could vote for both of us! This was very apparent during the recent vote in the Independence Caucus which was taken last month. In the initial round of voting which included four candidates, Mark and I received a total of 68% of the vote, compared to just 32% of the combined vote of the other two candidates in the race. A runoff was held between Mark and I, and we came out tied! This campaign has never been about me or any type of political agenda. It has been about bringing real change to Washington DC before it is too late.
Last Sunday, the grassroots got together for an event in Shelton and it was there that I got to meet Mark’s wife Linda and their children for the first time. My wife and I got to spend the afternoon with his family and we got to see Mark, the husband and father, for the first time. My wife played with his son Roarke, while his 3 year old daughter Sky explained to me how ‘Daddy takes the dogs out for a walk at night’ and then she taught me the song, ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ until she decided I was doing it correctly!
My wife and I realized that the best way for us to effect real change this year, for not only all the citizens of the 5th district, but also our soon to arrive child, was to work together with Mark in order to defeat Chris Murphy, the entrenched special interests, and party insiders. To that end, I am announcing today that I will be dropping my bid for Congress and effective immediately begin working to elect Mark Greenberg as the next Congressman of the 5th district. While many of my supporters may at first be disappointed by the news, I am sure they will come to see the same things as I do in Mark, and realize that by electing him, we will be getting all of the things that we have been fighting to achieve over these past several months. I look forward to integrating our two campaigns as seamlessly as possible and ultimately retaking this seat for the citizens of the 5th district.
I want to thank you for coming and look forward to working with all of you in our common mission. I will never be able to thank all the volunteers enough for all they have done, so I will simply say I am always here for you, as you were here for me.