49.1%!

Wow, what a story.  Against impossible odds, with no one in the press or anywhere else giving us a chance of getting any votes, our Campaign for Change is the story of Election Night — winning 49.1% of the vote and coming within 0.9% of winning against Ben Lujan Sr.

The votes are still officially being counted, and we will make sure that the voice of the people who stood up for change is fully heard and that the election is fair and honest by monitoring the process all the way to the last provisional ballot, making sure that every one of your votes is counted.  We may not win officially, but we have already won in doing what they told us couldn’t be done (but that we all knew was possible all along).

What fantastic thing we’ve all done together.

“Thank you for giving us hope.”

As our campaign enters the final countdown to Election Day, we want to take a moment to express our appreciation and pride in all of our supporters on our Campaign for Change.

We don’t need to tell any of you what a courageous act your work on this campaign has been.  Carl Trujillo’s extraordinary courage in stepping up and running against Ben Lujan Sr. was just the start — everyone who supported us has risked the wrath of the machine by giving their time, energy and faith to our Campaign for Change.  For the first time in generations, our community has a choice to vote for a real citizen legislator who will truly represent our priorities and needs.

Tonight, we’ll share with all of you what the press hasn’t seen because it doesn’t show in polls and endorsements — that after three months of knocking on doors and talking with voters, our internal polling numbers show that we are in the lead and have a very real chance at victory tomorrow.

The next step is up to all of you — now is the time to step up and ask your friends, family and neighbors to join you in the courageous act of voting for real change.

This will be a test of our community’s courage.  When the fear and intimidation of a political machine rules for decades, even honest people can sometimes forget that there’s another way and may vote for what they’ve always known over an unknown future.  But while we anticipate victory tomorrow, the truth is that in a very real way, we have already won.  As the Rio Grande Sun pointed out in its article (and endorsement of our campaign) last week, our campaign “opens the gates.  People won’t be afraid to run against Lujan anymore.”  We did that — together.

With a tiny group of passionate staff and volunteers, an equally tiny budget and very little time, against an opponent wielding the power of a huge political machine, over $100,000 to spend, the support of wealthy businesses and powerful special interests, and against the predictions of certain defeat by virtually every political pundit in the state, our Campaign for Change has a  real chance of winning.

We’ve defied expectations and political “wisdom,” broken a lot of the rules about how campaigns are “supposed” to be run, learned from mistakes, addressed and stuffed thousands of envelopes, spent many late night hours in radio station studios, walked and drove hundreds of miles, shook untold numbers of hands, sat in dozens of meetings, wore out cell phones making phone calls, shared moments of triumph and frustration, lost a lot of sleep, and shaken up the system for the first time in decades.

We’ve had the privilege of listening to the stories of young and old in our community about their desire for change, and we’ve read scores of emails and received dozens of voicemail messages and phone calls from community members thanking us for giving them a choice.  And over and over, we hear the same thing — thank you for giving us hope.

All of that means more than you all might realize tonight, when every one’s understandably focused on winning or losing.  But the reality is that we are in a position to win  and that alone is extraordinary.  In short, we have already made political history.

Now it’s time to make history again — by winning tomorrow.  Your vote will make the difference.

For years, the people of our community have said that we want a more honest, open and ethical state government.

Now is our chance to make that change.

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