Concession of Hope

promoted by Rosi

Running for Congress 2006 and 2008 was a learning experience of a kind that few people get who might think they understand the process.  Losing by the same percentage each time was also “enlightening” (I’ll avoid the word disappointing for now) – but the favorite analogy I created for this is it’s like hiking a high mountain where the top is obscured in clouds, but the farther you go and harder you work – you get to see a little further up the path, and you’re quite a bit wiser that anyone else that’s never dared to take the walk.  

The votes my running mates and I achieved yesterday are a mile marker up the path.  And we’re standing in the road having taken a long journey and wondering why we still came up short.  What I’ve come to understand through experience is – I don’t lament that realization very long.  I’ve come to enjoy the walk … the process.   We canvassed so much in this race and it was the most enjoyable thing I’ve ever done.  How can you deny it if this is really in your blood – meeting voters face-to-face.  My running mates will tell you – that if there was ever an option of what we had to do on any given night – go to a community event – go to a fundraiser – even dialing for dollars (perish the thought) – more often than not – I’d say “let’s walk”  – Let’s cover some more ground – let’s meet some more people that never knew us before.

So with number of votes we received, and the percentage – I’m no less proud of how much of an effort we put forth.

With those votes –  I’m no less enthusiastic to carry forward on what everyone who believed in us trusted us to do with their vote – bring about better government to our town.  People like the Republicans that we met that said having no other information about candidates – they would have voted the line (to which I’d respond “that’s why we’re here!”).  I am no less honored by all of their support.   With these votes – I’m no less motivated to take the place that I incessantly feel drawn to …  to try to inspire and motivate people to HELP carry the burden of moving us forward.

Setbacks happen in life.   Disappointments happen.   After such a long journeys it hurts to see that the destination is further off than we thought.

But as everyone knows in their heart – but is so often EASY to forget at a time like this – it’s not so much the  setback that defines us – but what we do in the face of it.

So don’t expect any of this energy to dissolve.  I hate to disappoint our opposition – but it’s not going to happen.   We know in our hearts our agenda is larger and more meaningful.  And as long as I’m living and breathing I’ve found the cause that makes it …all worth living and breathing.  To follow through on Jefferson’s dream that we can make the smart decisions as a society to choose our destiny …and that our government can work if populated by those that are sincere in making it work.

I’m hoping that in a short time – everyone can stand and look with pride on that mile marker – forget the disappointment that it didn’t mark the destination we thought it did … and you’ll keep walking with us.

Thank You.

Tom Wyka

Comments (11)

  1. Jeff Gardner

    Political campaigns can be like life that way.

    Yes, there are challenges. Yes, there are setbacks. But, along the way you get to meet new people, and lean on family and old friends, and put forth ideas, and learn a lot about yourself and others. And, as in life, those that actually learn to appreciate the journey succeed the most.

    Tom, you never cease to make us proud.


  2. Nick Lento

    ……any one who’s come to know you over the years has to have respect and admiration for the level of commitment and caring and competence you have delivered.

    Thousands of people who have come out and voted for you (despite the “conventional wisdom” that it’s a Republican district and you would likely lose) made much more than an empty gesture….they affirmed their own sense of hope and possibility in the face of long odds.   Such actions can be empowering and life affirming (whatever the short term immediate “result”) …and that is how we should choose to value them.

    The objective reality remains the same.   The district, state and nation are all far worse off because   your opposition remained in power.   The costs and consequences of those results remain and the case for making a change gets stronger and more airtight with each election.

    Having said all of that, we progressives (in NJ and throughout the nation) need to employ radically new strategies and extremely  innovative tactics if we wish to get to the point where we can win elections in districts which are “traditionally” Republican.

    This isn’t the space to go into a lengthy discussion of how that process can be energized.  But it’s clear that we need hundreds more Tom Wykas throughout New Jersey and many many thousands more throughout the nation!    Stay strong Tom!!!

  3. The Wizard

    how many of your neighbors are really nice people. There are the occasional nuts, but most people are OK.

    Never give up. Never ever give up.  

  4. FogerRox

    I forget who I stole that quote from……..


  5. Rosi Efthim

    Those of us who know Tom Wyka personally always say the same thing, and have for each race he’s run:

    “That guy could walk in on Day One and he’d be ready to govern, and prepared to do the job.”

    Thanks for running, Tom. Proud to know you.

  6. Bertin Lefkovic

    …running for office as a Republican in a Republican primary?  Primary elections are such low turnout affairs and if you could get the Democrats and Independents who have voted for you in the general elections to change their party affiliations and vote for you in the primary elections, you would probably have a better chance of winning.

    I know that winning isn’t everything, but you have worked so hard for so long, I would really like to see you win for a change.  I just don’t see the demographics in your part of the state changing sufficiently for you to have the chance to win and if they were to change, I wouldn’t be surprised to see you pushed aside by the party establishment in favor of someone who they had already bought and paid for.

  7. Chazz

    And that is a good thing.  We can always continue to improve our communities around us thanks to people like you, Tom.  

    I know I can honestly say that most of the work I do is because of you.  We are all better off for what you do, and for knowing you.

    There is always the next street, and I look forward to walking it together.


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