My most recent personal example was election day, August 7, 2018. The winners in the Primaries have now advanced to gear up for the general election in this critical election year, but in their wake, there are many other qualified and committed Kansans who offered up their names and life experiences to their fellow citizens and asked to represent them and work on their behalf. So how could something so depressing as losing an election that you and many others had put so much time and energy into have something good to acknowledge and benefit from? From personal experience, having lost three elections, I can say that it is not easy, and it often has to come days later. For Democrats, in the crowded field for Governor and 3rd District Congress, I am sure some of that reflection is still coming.
But as I look back now, I can see several positives. For starters, many candidates who lost will live to fight and win on another day, and within that group, there is a lot of talent that will be recognized and supported. Through their leadership, they will each continue to impact their communities and our state. And there will also be many valuable lessons learned from their campaigns that, in time, will have positive impacts. That is why the good and bad needs to be found, documented, and stand ready for the right opportunity to be used.
On a personal level, looking back on the Democratic Governors race, there was much good to appreciate. I got to know Josh Svaty and Katrina Lewison (as well as their spouses) much better and appreciate their huge potential for the future. I also got to listen to these two exceptional speakers election night, not just appropriately conceding to Senator Kelly, but also communicating their support going forward. They made it clear that the fight for a better Kansas goes on and that all Democrats must do their part. I also know there are hundreds and hundreds of Kansans across the state that feel the same and will be there to help now as well as with opportunities in the future.
The realities of our current system have made it even harder for qualified citizens to step up and offer their service. But, without good people with diverse experiences running for public office (and strong supporters working hard for something they believe in), we will never achieve the outcomes the people want and need. So to all those who have sought public office or given it serious consideration: We need you, and we need your leadership at all levels of government. The path to positive change will not always be an easy one; there will be bad days. But we must find the good in every day, and use it to drive the pursuit of progress.