Simple words are inadequate to express my deepest appreciation for the sacrifices, support, and prayers of each of you. While we came up a little short on Election Night, Kathryn and I will always be grateful for all you did to help us campaign and put forth a plan to put Georgia back to work. I want to say a special thank you to my family for their faithful support, my campaign staff, the finance team and donors, the volunteers and interns, and all those who helped us try to “put Georgia back to work”. I also want to acknowledge my former legislative colleagues and the staff that helped me through those years.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to advance to the next round, but it was a wonderful journey. There is no doubt that we were called and answered. There is always joy in that. God has certainly blessed me. When I was first elected to the State House in 1992, I never thought I would serve in the majority- much less have a chance to lead it and then run for Governor of this great state. And, while unsuccessful in this campaign, I am proud to leave behind a conservative Republican majority and some real accomplishments- no income taxes for retired seniors, a smaller, better-run government, the Georgia Special Needs Scholarships and more charter schools, civil justice reform, and a constitutional amendment to protect our rights to hunt and fish.
My travels across this state just served to reaffirm what all of us already know- ours is a great state with a bright future. Ours is a state of people who are prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow with a fierce determination. Ours is a state of people who are prepared to make the tough decisions and embrace the bold ideas that will put our state back to work. Ours is a state of people who are prepared to take a stand against an out of control federal government and take a stand for our common sense conservative values.
I am proud that our campaign stayed positive and focused on the issues. As one of the architects in the effort to turn Georgia from ‘blue’ to ‘red’, I am a fighter. As a former Young Republican and County Party Chair, I am as partisan as they come. As the former Senate Republican Leader and President pro tem, I recruited and directed dozens of campaigns. But I never went negative against a Republican in my 18-year career and I kept my campaigns against Democrats focused on issues. I stayed true to my faith and my principles, and tried to be a role model to my staff and colleagues.
I leave the battlefield with my head held high and proud to have been in the trenches with each of you. In Micah, the scripture tells us that God requires us to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.” I have always kept that command close to my heart. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for walking with us throughout this campaign. While this campaign may be over, my passion for this state and making it even better remains. I pray you feel the same.
Yours for a better Georgia,