Thank you for your enthusiastic and heartfelt support during my campaign for re-election. I appreciate every phone call you made, every sign you put up, and every envelope you sealed on my behalf. Your innumerable cheers and words of encouragement during this contest meant a lot to me. Knowing that I had the best people in the world working on my team made it easier for me stand for hours at Wawa and knock on hundreds of doors for over four months. We put forth our best effort, and I thank you.
As a coach, I learned that sometimes the team with the best players does not always win. It is tough lesson to learn, but like all tough lessons, one that builds better character. In this way, politics is a lot like football. November 7th just wasn?t our day. We have no reason to hang our heads. I am proud of our efforts.
Without any bitterness or regret, I have concluded that the outcome of the November 7th election will not be altered through a recount of the votes or a challenge to the ultimate result. Consequently, I will not delay the process nor stand in the way of an orderly transition.
I congratulate my opponent on his victory and wish him well as he takes his seat on the Board of Freeholders.
It is, however, important that no one lose sight of the circumstances of the election; namely, the use — once again — absentee ballots gathered by Craig Callaway and his associates tipped the balance of another election. The flaws in this system and its vulnerability to fraud have been well documented.
Indeed, last May my opponent in a public meeting expressed his concern over the messenger application system and agreed it should be revised to assure that elections in Atlantic County are honest and free from manipulation by those attempting to advance a personal or political agenda. Part of the responsibility for reforming system now rests in his hands. Failing to do so will only serve to erode — and eventually destroy — public confidence in the system and pose serious questions over whether the winners of an election achieved their victories legitimately.
The Republican Party took a strong stand on cleaning up a flawed system. Some argue that the messenger ballot system is technically legal. We said it is morally wrong. Even in light of the final albeit disappointing election tally, we did the right thing. I know our party will continue to take the high road as the majority of the freeholder board and in future campaigns.
I am grateful for the opportunity I had to serve the residents of Atlantic County as a member of Board of Chosen Freeholders. I know my colleagues on the Board will continue their fine work, and they will always have my support.
For now, I look forward to enjoying the holiday season with my family.
Once again, than k you for all of your endeavors on my behalf and on behalf of Sonya Harris, Jim Curcio, and Tom Russo.
God bless you, and may you have a happy Thanksgiving.