Thursday, November 6, 2008

We fought the good fight!

Cross-posted from the Bethany For House site.

All will be well . . .

To all my friends, family, and supporters,

The last seven months have truly been one of the best experiences of my life! Although I did not win my legislative race to the State House of Representatives, I could not be more proud of the race that I ran with the help of my teammates Eric Abrahamson and Tom Katus. Neither Eric or I were successful in our races, and we are very sad that Tom Katus lost his bid for re-election to the State Senate. Though obviously disappointed by these results, we are proud of our efforts, and the Democratic Party and our community are better for the issues we raised, for the voters we registered, and for the excitement we were a part of. As exhausting as it was, I must say that I had the time of my life!

This last week was simply marvelous. My parents flew out from California and helped out in our last week's efforts to reach voters. They had a great time, and are grateful to have met so many of the wonderful folks who were instrumental in this journey of mine. It was a joy to be with them and so many others at the celebration at the Holiday Inn, to watch history in the making, to watch and listen to our new President as he delivered his eloquent acceptance speech, and of course, to comfort each other when our own results started to come in.

It became clear very quickly that not one Democrat in Rapid City was successful in their race. In fact, we finally found out this morning that Kevin Killer and Ed Iron Cloud (Democrats) won their seats in District 27. (Most of us had left by midnight, while Kevin and a few others stuck around and waited for the last couple of precinct results to come in!) The only other Democrats West of the Missouri River who won their races were Ryan Maher, an incumbent, and Dean Schrempp, who has served in the House previously. Just four Democrats in all of West River - these were not the results we were hoping for.

On a more encouraging note, Measure 11, South Dakota's latest attempt to outlaw most abortions, went down in flames. This was the second time in 2 years that extremists have tried to do this as a way to force the hand of the Supreme Court and challenge Roe v. Wade, and the voters, once again, said "NOT THIS TIME!" It was encouraging, yet baffling, because these same voters then elect the kinds of leaders who are in favor of these kinds of laws to begin with.

All in all, Tuesday was a night of great celebration, and I am most grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way and to those who work toward progress in our communities. I will continue to do what I can to help others who cannot help themselves so that they may rise above, to ultimately help themselves and others. I will continue to speak the truth, to raise issues, and hold my leaders accountable, and I hope you all do the same. It is our responsibility to address injustices and right the wrongs. The campaign may be over, but the work begins today!

With gratitude and love,

Bethany Wojahn

"Stand up and speak your mind - even if your voice shakes!"

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