I have been out meeting voters, knocking on over 8,000 doors, talking with thousands of people for seven months now, and I’ve never received anything but kindness and encouragement. Even those who have told me that they are supporting my opponent, are genuinely pleased that I have made this race.
I have had the great honor to stand side by side with great veteran statesmen – folks with names like Winfield, Bill, Lamar, Bob, Ed, Van, Marsha, Ron, Jim, and yes, even one named Douglas.
I have had the even greater honor of having the support of old friends and new – folks like Tom and Joyce, West and Caroline, Gerald and Peggy, Jon and Stephanie, Karen and Scott, Janna and Marc, Mike and Theresa, Dean and Sandy, Beth and Bill, Alan and Gretchen, Anne and Marshall, Kim and Wes, Nancy, Beth, Adelle, Betty, Marissa, Kathy, Whitney, Carrie, Amanda, Graham, Dave, Joe, Scott, Nathan, Jeff, Mark, Tim, Rob, Evan, Matt, Eric, and many countless others.
I have been given undeserved praise by my many fellow bloggers, and even from a few professional journalists from across the State of Tennessee.
I have had the help of my parents and siblings, not just with this campaign, but especially for having fought to give me a solid foundation.
I have three children who have supported me through months of campaigning without a complaint.
I have a wife, Cookie, my best friend and companion for life, who has shown me more strength and courage than I ever knew.
Some say that I have had some bad luck — that it was a bad year to be a Republican, that I didn’t get enough party assistance, that the press ignored this race, that my opponent was just too popular, or that any of a dozen other excuses prevented this race from being won.
But last night – gathered together with dozens of friends – I knew just how lucky I was, and just how much I really do have.