SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. -- Gary McDowell (D-Rudyard) addressed supporters in Sault Ste. Marie at approximately 10 p.m. (EDT) to thank them for their support and inform them that he had called Republican Dan Benishek to congratulate him on being elected to Congress from Michigan’s 1st District. McDowell’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
Thank you all for being here tonight and for your support throughout this campaign.
Before I go any further I have to thank some people who helped make this campaign possible.
First and foremost, my family. Particularly my wife, Carrie, and our three daughters, Alivia, Emily and Rochelle. Their support these past six months has made this campaign worth it.
I also want to thank my entire campaign staff; everyone who has worked these past weeks and months here in the Soo and in the field offices across this district. In a district this large no campaign could afford the staff it would take to do all of the work. So I also want to thank the hundreds of volunteers who have showed up to knock doors and make countless phones calls because they believe in this campaign and in a brighter future for northern Michigan.
This campaign has come a long ways in a short time. Like most people across northern Michigan, I was shocked that Friday in April when Congressman Stupak announced he would not seek another term. Most of us had assumed Bart would continue to represent us well for many, many years to come. The thought of running for Congress hadn’t even crossed my mind.
But thanks to the support and encouragement from my family, I entered this race to make sure northern Michigan continues moving forward.
I’ve traveled to every corner of this 31-county district, from Bay County to the Keweenaw and every point in between.
Voters are fed up with government but not for the reasons Dan Benishek and his supporters want you to think. People are fed up because elected officials have quit working together; they have quit even trying to find common ground.
This campaign has always been about bridging that divide; about listening to other people and working out solutions to our problems. Together.
Together, we have come a long ways.
It is in that sense of cooperation that I just called Dan Benishek to congratulate him on being elected northern Michigan’s next congressman. Dan Benishek and I have had our differences throughout this campaign and I have no doubt we will continue to have them. But now is not the time to dwell on those differences.
My campaign has always been about looking forward, about believing that northern Michigan’s best days are still ahead of us. And tonight is no different.
Tonight isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about northern Michigan.
We didn’t wake up six months ago believing this would be easy; we didn’t wake up today believing this would be easy. The work we all did throughout this campaign was not wasted. We not only showed countless northern Michigan voters why we have to aim for a brighter future; but we got many of them to work with us to achieve that goal.
That work doesn’t end tonight or tomorrow or next year.
We overcame a lot of obstacles to get this far in this race and I have each and every one of you to thank for that.
Thank you for believing in me, for believing in this campaign, and for believing in a better future for northern Michigan.