On this morning after Election Day I thought some comments I posted on my To Tallahassee and Back blog after this past summer's primary are just as timely now as they were then. A lot of keystrokes will be spent congratulating last night's winners but not as much space wil be devoted to those who were not victorious.
For every winning candidate there is a flipside; the defeated candidate. Whether that person was an incumbent or a challenger, losing an election is not a fun experience. In 1992 I lost a bid for the New Port Richey City Council in my first, and so far only, bid for public office. It was a humbling experience that lead me to question many things about myself and why I ran. I soon discovered that there was a bigger plan for my life then I ever realized at the time.
About five months after the election, my wife and I found out we were expecting our first child. Not too long after that I was asked by my good friend Mike Fasano to be a part of his run for the Florida House in 1994. He won, and I joined him as his first legislative assistant. I have been with him ever since.
To those who did not win the seat you were seeking I offer my heartfelt condolences. If you have a true heart for public service you will come to know that there is a reason for the outcome of this election. Perhaps something better is around the corner. Perhaps it just was not your time. Take the opportunity to learn from it and turn it into something positive. Trust me, from someone who has been there, you can go either way with it. It is up to you how you walk away from this experience.
To all who won last night, I offer my heartiest of congratulations. Now that your campaign is over, be prepared to do all that you can to serve well the people who put you in office.