This is Bruce Lunsford's speech as prepared for delivery. I wish I could place the victory speech here instead but it just wasn't meant to be. But Bruce Lunsford gave Mitch McConnell a serious run for it. It was a better campaign than that of Lois Combs Weinberg in 2002. The results did not go our way but Kentucky will have a better time in 2014 during the next go around. In the meantime, let's have someone announce now that they will take on Jim Bunning. Jonathan? Ben? Jack? Anyone?
More than 9 months ago, I entered this race with a pledge to unite Kentucky Democrats, independents and Republicans who want to change Washington.
But while it looks like we’ll receive more votes than any Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky history, we’re going to fall just short of victory.
We started this race as a 50 to 1 shot and there weren’t many people who gave us a chance. But together, we made it race down the stretch and made Mitch McConnell spend every dime of that $20 million in special interest money. In doing so, we all helped contribute to several other victories around the country…that we should be proud of.
But we didn’t quite get there for Kentucky. I’m disappointed…but not for me. I’m disappointed because there were big things I wanted to accomplish for Kentuckians. And I’m disappointed for my staff, who worked tirelessly for months, and for the thousands of volunteers and supporters who helped us get this close.
This has been the journey of my lifetime. I’ve worked this Commonwealth from Pikeville to Paducah and along the way, I’ve met thousands incredible people with amazing and inspiring stories.
I’ve been honored to have the support of so many Kentuckians, from folks I bump into at the supermarket, to loyal Democratic activists and officials who had never supported me before, to County Judges, Sheriffs, and former Governors, to Organized Labor, and to volunteers and donors who contributed their time and effort to a noble cause…to get our country back on track. Thank you all. I cannot tell you how much your support means to me.
Thank you to the hardest working campaign staff in America. I know we outworked the other side so there was nothing more we could have done. I’m so proud of you all.
And to my family. Amy, Cindy and Brandy. You’ve been behind me all the way. I love you all very much and you know I will always be there for you.
So a few minutes ago, I called Senator McConnell to congratulate him on winning a fifth term…no, no, no. Please.
These are tough times and despite what it is we believe has brought America to this point of recession and debt, this is a time to urge our representatives in Washington to do better.
Now is the time for the country to come together behind a new administration and new congress, and get America back on track.
I urge Senator McConnell to work hand in hand with the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate and the Obama Administration to help correct the problems brought on by the past eight years.
This is not a time for partisanship or obstructionism. This is a time for our elected officials to unite and work together to help people who are hurting. People are worried about losing their jobs. Retirement accounts have lost billions. And health care costs keep going up. The middle class of this country is being squeezed from all sides but Washington can help.
These are serious challenges and I urge Senator McConnell to go outside the box. To listen to the more than the hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians who demanded change. And to use the leadership and clout he ran on to steer the Republican Party in a different direction…one that realizes we build our economy from the bottom up, not the top down.
If you’re willing to move the Republican Party in that direction, I know Kentuckians will be behind you 100% because those are Kentucky values. The next six years cannot be like the last six.
As for me, I will remain active and involved in projects to further the agenda of change that I campaigned on and to help rebuild our economy from the bottom up.
This has been the journey of my lifetime.
Congratulations to all those Democrats who won big victories tonight, including my old friend John Yarmuth.
Thank you again to all of you who’ve helped me so much over this past year and let’s continue to work together to bring America back.