Can you forgive me for posting a little bit of my venerability? I pray so.
The day that Shawn and I went in to vote at the polls, I felt something that I have not felt in a long time since Shawn was born. I felt that I was accomplishing something by casting my vote like I had done so many times religiously before we had to go through Shawn's medical journey and my Ironman journey to help other families with birth defects. It was also such a great experience to watch my son go to the polls with "Daddy" for the first time. I remember what it meant to me when my parents did it with me, and I could see in his eyes that it meant a lot to him as well.
What he may never realize is how I was feeling when I came to my name on the ballot. I immediately started to question to myself, "Have we done enough? Will people actually vote for me? Will my vote be the only one I see next to my name on election night coverage?" All of a sudden a sense of peace came over me as I felt God tell me, "I am proud of your work, and you are victorious!" I smiled, pushed the button, and proudly put on my "I Voted" sticker. I again was being the change that I wanted to see even though I had not participated in that civil duty in recent years, but according to the numbers, I was not the only one.
According to the Harris County Clerks office, voting across the board was up 150% from the previous open seat mayoral election. Nearly 90,000 that had not previously voted joined me in voting in this election. This gave us a 27.41% participation rate of eligible voters compared to 19.12% in 2009. VICTORY for bringing back Accountability and Responsibility back to City Hall. Hopefully we will see that participation percentage in the runoff elections as well.
On election night, I also found victory in the fact that I was not the only one that voted for me, but I had 17,696 people that believed in me and this campaign. Again, I declared VICTORY because I knew that they felt I gave them something to vote for instead of something that made them stay at home and not voting. I am so proud, honored, and humbled to have received your votes and support. Thank you for believing in me. Even though we did not make it to the runoff, I believe that our communities are stronger because of this campaign, and I don't have any regrets.
There are so many people to thank, that it would take forever, but here are just a few:
- I want to thank my wife, Rachel, for being there every step of the way. I know it was hard at times, but you and Shawn believed in me and pushed me to march on. I love you!
- I want to thank my mom, Samantha, for keeping me humble while encouraging me to give it everything I had.
- I want to thank my son, Shawn, for being my inspiration to run for city council in the first place to help leave Houston a better place for all of our son's and daughters.
- I want to thank Josh Jones for believing in me and making the sacrifices he made to make this campaign viable.
- I want to thank my best friend, Ryan Perdue, for being there every step of the way including on election night.
- I want to thank all of those that endorsed our campaign including the Kingwood Tea Party, Spring Branch Republicans, Republican Liberty Caucus-Houston, Texans For Financial Responsibility, Texas Tea Party, and Houston Voters For Companion Animals.
- I want to thank Bob Hall for giving me words of encouragement when I needed them the most.
- I want to thank all of the precinct chairs, SD chairs, and SREC chairs, and individuals that came out publicly to endorse me.
- Finally, Thank You Jeffrey!
We ran the campaign that we wanted to run. We ran with honesty and integrity, and we never attacked anyone else in this race even though we were attacked. That is something I am very proud of.
It is time for us to rally the troops one more time to elect a new mayor, controller, and council on Saturday, December 12, 2015. I have been asked if I was willing to endorse some of the candidates in the race, but I have decided to only endorse in the Mayor (Bill King) and Controller (Bill Frazer) races. No matter what I encourage you to educate yourself on which candidates are in the runoff and hopefully find the one that you feel is going to get Houston out of our financial crisis that we are currently in, provide the core services we all deserve as Houstonians, and make our communities stronger.
So what happens next for me? Well, I have already giving up my private life when I became a public candidate, and I will continue to be in the public eye. I want to continue our "Know Your Neighbor" initiative that has helped strengthen our neighborhoods. I will continue to be an advocate for birth defect awareness, protecting our "Furry Family" members by getting Houston to a "No Kill" status in our shelters, and promoting bike safety and positive improvements to make Houston more bike friendly. I will also continue to watch city hall to provide another person that is trying to keep them more accountable to spending our tax dollars wisely. You all deserve my best effort, and you have my word that I will give it to you.
I had a blast in this campaign, and I eventually will do it again someday. I hope I will get your support then too, so stay tuned as I update this blog on what I am doing to make Houston a better place for all of us in the meantime.
God bless all of you, and thank you again.