My campaign for governor of Illinois has come to an end. The people have voted, the results are in, and the Democratic Party of Illinois will have new leadership at the top of the ticket.
I am grateful for your support since the beginning. I am grateful for the amazing people I met on the campaign trail. I am humbled by their stories and the faith they put in us to make radical change and find solutions to the challenges they face.
I know that what’s right about the state and the people who live here is much stronger and much more powerful than what is wrong with it.
For just under a year, I have battled JB Pritzker for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party in Illinois. Many of you have seen our commercials and our contest play out on the airwaves or in the direct-mail campaigns. Cardinals Cupich once said, “In a democracy, the voters get the government they deserve.” The voters of Illinois have spoken, and now we must follow their lead and give Mr. Pritzker the support that he has earned.
This was the sixth time a member of the Kennedy family has appeared on the Illinois statewide ballot. Our family, therefore, owes a great debt of gratitude to the people of Illinois for being so supportive so often and for so long.
I would like to thank my wife Sheila, my children Kate, Chris, Sarah and Clare, as well as my brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends who were steadfast in their support. I would like to thank my running mate Ra Joy and his wife Falona for standing with us every step of the way.
You heard me often reference what it means to be a Kennedy Democrat. We very much believe that it is better to play on the field than stay on the sidelines. It is better to witness a contest end in failure than see a failure to begin a contest. We prefer the grime of the field than the griping of the stands. For anyone who ever thinks about running for public office, do not let this loss diminish your drive. I have no regrets about the decision to run. I’d rather be sending this note, than sitting at home, wishing that I had raised my voice.
I want to thank you all for being great Democrats. I want to thank you all for being great citizens of Illinois. And I want to thank you all for being great patriots to our country.