23 Jun Statement on Withdrawal
For the reasons outlined below, with great sadness and heaviness of heart, we will not be continuing in this race.
Last week, during the very short qualification period, we were informed by the Division of Elections that a notary error on one of our qualification documents meant that it would not be accepted to qualify. The mistake was made by the notary, not anyone on our campaign.
As a result, we shut down the campaign, cancelled all meetings, requested refunds from vendors, sent out a notice to supporters, and everything ground to a halt. For reasons that have not been made clear, the Division qualified our campaign after hours on Friday anyway, shocking everyone. This all caused some profound soul searching from the campaign team. After much prayer and discussion, we decided not to revive the campaign.
Every expert who supported and advised us — experts who win political races for a living, national political experts and political legends who have helped elect U.S. presidents — told us we could win. However, they also made clear that the only path to victory would be spending every waking moment of the next 2 months publicly attacking my opponent and begging for money. This is a terribly sad testament to the state of our politics today.
While I disagree with some of my former opponent’s key votes and remain concerned about the massive funding flowing into the political system from special interests, it is contrary to my nature to deliberately embarrass and tear down a person in front of his own community for political gain. This is one of the big problems in politics today.
In fact, I do not believe politics should be conducted in this manner in a civilized society at all. Even though some of those who opposed me showed a willingness to do it, I will not participate in mudslinging and politics of personal destruction. I hope others on all sides of the issues and in both parties can learn from this example.
In addition, because I have a family to support and commitments to clients, I’m simply unable at this time to dedicate the incredible amount of time, energy and resources required to beat a candidate with access to well over $1 million in his PAC and campaign for this race.
Campaigning has been the equivalent of adding multiple full-time jobs on top of my existing 80+ hour work week. It has been considerably more intense than even my most extreme estimations. The impact on my family and me has been tough.
The campaign has also seriously affected my ability to continue reaching millions of people across America and around the world with truth and the message of faith, family, and freedom. I believe God gave me this national platform for a reason. To squander it to sling mud at a local politician for the chance to have a vote in the state legislature seems less than ideal at this time.
I cannot in good conscience ask others to continue sacrificing if I cannot make the sacrifices needed to win this. Even though they believed we could win, some of my own senior campaign leaders told me they did not think my heart was truly in this. They also told me they could tell I did not feel God was leading me to do this. The realization by some of the people most invested in the campaign was sobering.
All who know me know that my top priorities are God, family, freedom and country — in that order. At this time, I feel like I can best serve them all by remaining engaged in journalism, education, consulting, and public speaking — areas where I have a great deal of experience and that are just as critical to the battle for liberty as the political realm, if not more so.
My opponent pledged to me that he would vote constitutionally in his final term, and even that the legislature would pursue some of the key legislative priorities of our campaign such as Constitutional Carry. At my request, he also agreed to read a book that I consider critical at this time. I am hopeful that he will honor those commitments. I also pray that in his final term in the State House he will work closely with the many constituents who rallied around our campaign in pursuit of liberty.
As I explained to him, I would rather work for the Republican cause — and more importantly, for the American cause of liberty and self-government — than spend two months attacking his record. Critically, we need principled unity among Republicans in our community and our state to safeguard our freedom and our Republic from the forces that would destroy them. I pray that GOP leaders would realize the crisis we are in as a nation and dedicate themselves to protecting our liberties and our incredible heritage as a nation founded on biblical values.
One of the sad realizations I made during this campaign is that there is corruption embedded in the political system and the political process — even at the local level. Another sad realization is that the political process appears to be designed specifically to exclude grassroots candidates and make it as difficult as possible for everyday people to run for office. It needs to change for the sake of our republic and future generations.
We fought hard for what we know is right. Our entire team was amazing. I feel beyond blessed that God raised up these incredible men and women to do the heavy lifting that campaigns require. It was one of the greatest honors in my life to work alongside these incredible patriots. And I know that our sacrifices were not in vain.
All those involved in our campaign — those who volunteered, invested of their treasure, and prayed for us — give me great hope for the future. As long as there are fine men and women like that willing to sacrifice their time, treasure and talents, the flame of liberty will never be extinguished in our nation.
I want to thank all those who joined this fight once again from the bottom of my heart. Your selflessness and your willingness to sacrifice has made me a better man, and it has already made our communities a better place. I owe you each a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.
May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless each of you as we work together to protect liberty for ourselves and our posterity.