Friends,

This whole experience has been amazing.  My only regret is that it ended too soon.

I have found no better way to understand a complicated process than to experience it.  With your support we got this far.  The American political process has evolved into quite a mythical beast, but with your help I have now seen it in the wild. We didn’t get a chance to ride it, but we know what it looks like.

Without your support, none of this would have been possible. I’m humbled and honored by all of you who chose to participate in the campaign. I sincerely hope that you found it as fascinating as I did. We have done some incredible things together, like pulling a thousand votes without any party backing, almost no media interest, historically weak voter turnout, and no special interest funding.  Everything we’ve done here, we’ve done by and for ourselves. Given all of the challenges we faced in this election, the thousand brave souls that voted their conscience is a proud accomplishment on its own.  Hopefully, we have also inspired more people in our community to take the time to consider what is important to them and engage in the political process. Every step we take clears the path.

Desmond and Dot at the polling station.

Desmond and Dot at the polling station.

In the meantime, I’ll share my most prominent takeaway: Always look for your Independents.  There are some well-qualified people out there, a number of whom I’ve met on this journey.  The fact that they have chosen to run for office without the permission of a major party is their first qualification. The reality that they’ll have trouble affording great shiny advertising is also a sign of their bravery.  Always do yourself a favor and seek them out. Reaching voters is much more difficult than most people realize, and breaking them out of their party molds is nearly impossible, but that’s never a reason to not do what is right.

So, what comes next?  Our work is certainly not done. We’ve learned so much during this process that campaign staff will be spending weeks analyzing it all. We’ll learn everything we can here and share it with you, and I hope you’ll continue the discussion with me through our social media network.

The first lesson? We started too late this time. I wonder if two years would be enough?

Sincerely,

A.J. Desmond Thorsson (aka: Desmond Crisis)

James Ryan

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