In the "blockquote" is the Thank You note that Andy sent out. Before we get to that, I wanted to thank everyone that I met on this campaign. It was a tremendous experience and I learned a lot. It is working on this campaign that reminded me of why I work on campaigns for minimal pay and even less sleep.
As I move forward, myself and three other Hurst staffers (two that I had worked with before) are creating a PAC, Next Generation Democrats to financially assist candidates under the age of 40 (at all levels, dog catcher to President), and political operatives and campaign workers under the age of 25.
For all of you that helped, please remember the following two facts (in addition to what Andy points out in his letter)
1. In 2004, Tom Davis sent $240,000 to 39 candidates outside of his District, this year during the wave he was only able to send $3,100 to 3 candidates. We helped elect Democrats nationwide by forcing Davis to break the bank here at home.
2. At every single door that we knocked and phone that we called, and vote that we turned out for GOTV was given a message about Webb, and I honestly believe that at least 95% of Andy supporters were Webb supporters. Webb won the 11th by 25,000 votes, in as close a race as we had this year for Senate, please believe you played a major part in that.
Now from Andy himself,
I wanted to send you a note of thanks for all you did for my campaign for Congress.
This campaign accomplished amazing things. You and I began this effort with a candidate who never before ran for office, with no name recognition and no treasury -- only ideas on how to improve our representation and a passion to share them.
At the end, we received more than 100,000 votes, more than any other House challenger in all of Virginia. The race ended at 56%-44%, the closest margin by far of any House campaign in Northern Virginia. We won 19 precincts, and lost by a razor-thin margin in many others. Tom Davis received a challenge like he has never faced in his twelve years of incumbency.
Even more amazing is what you and I overcame in doing so well:
* We refused to take any special interest or PAC money, and nevertheless raised nearly $400,000 from individuals who cared about the future of our country. Davis, on the other hand, took money from every special interest or PAC who would give it to him, and spent more than THREE MILLION DOLLARS on his re-election campaign.
* We declined the invitation to engage in a negative campaign. We focused on Davis' record of support of the Bush administration, and kept our commercials and distributions focused on our positive message of change. Davis took a different tack, sending out a series of seven negative mailers calling me things such as "dangerous" and "extremist," attacking my service as an attorney and my New Jersey roots in attempting to smear me.
* We received little attention from the press, pundits, or the national Democratic Party apparatus, all of whom believed Davis' argument that he was untouchable by someone he considered a "goofball" and a "midget." As it turned out, our energized grassroots field campaign mobilized tens of thousands of voters who were hungry for change, and we far outperformed other campaigns that were given much more publicity and far greater resources.
When all was said and done, you and I got the 11th District electorate focused on things we care about -- like the War in Iraq, corruption in Washington, and improving our health care system. We took on a powerful Republican with all the advantages of incumbency, and fought him to a standstill. Resources that otherwise would have been sent to help George Allen and other Republicans in tight races were spent here. Tom Davis will now be a member of the minority in Congress, and that is no small part due to our hard work.
Elizabeth, the kids and I can't thank you enough for all you did for us. Our family made a lot of new friends in the campaign, and believe more than ever in the causes that inspired me to run in the first place. I look forward to thanking all of you personally in the next few weeks, to sharing stories and catching up. Elizabeth and I will continue to work for Democratic causes and candidates in the future, and would be delighted to work with you in doing so.
Nate de la Piedra is the Online Outreach Coordinator for the Andrew Hurst for Congress 2006 Campaign. The ideas expressed herein belong to Nate de la Piedra and do not necessarily represent those of Andrew Hurst, his advisors, staff, or "The Campaign".