The Morning After

Early Wednesday Morning (June 23rd) I, Robert Lynch released the following statement in response to my losing the Democratic Primary for Tompkins County legislator. One day later, Thursday, June 24th, I would suspend my campaign. My morning-after statement follows:

“Obviously, I’m disappointed.  Actually, I’m stunned.  But what stuns me most this night is not the loss, but rather the margin.  Despite all the hard work, I earned just 22 per cent of the Democratic Primary vote. Something’s going on here that I could not foresee or wrap my campaign around so as to overcome.

But in a low turnout election like this one—in any low turnout election, whichever side you’re on—the activist base increasingly drives the results.  I am not an activist.  I made that point clear to anyone I’d meet.  I’m a centrist, a moderate. I’m ‘Joe Biden.’   That’s me.  That’s how I govern on the Enfield Town Board.  And I’ve earned the battle scars to prove it.  I cannot change who I am.  I will not pander or be a phony. And as I traveled from house to house throughout this Great Tompkins-Southwest District, I often found my most enthusiastic support came from independent voters and conservatives, people who cannot vote in the Democratic Primary.  They welcomed my message.  They often embraced it.  I must consider their support when I decide—later, not now—whether to pursue my earned right to an independent candidacy for the Tompkins County Legislature this fall.

I gave heart and soul—and yes, money—to this campaign.  I self-funded.  I did not solicit donations.  I spent nearly full-time effort these past three months on this campaign.  I clocked more than 1000 miles on my Ford Ranger pickup traveling door-to-door to meet perhaps upwards of 500 people in Enfield and Newfield.  Over and over I found receptive voters to welcome my words.  They said they liked my message of reform; of my call to ‘Return the County Legislature to its Roots.’  But I guess many didn’t vote.  Or else, they couldn’t vote because they weren’t Democrats.

I must weigh their sentiments as I contemplate; as I meditate as to my next move.

I commend Vanessa Greenlee for joining me in pursuing a positive campaign; a clean campaign without mudslinging; one in which we each focused upon issues, ideas, and ideals.  I wish Vanessa well as she carries her message—a theme much different from my own—into the fall election.  Vanessa’s a good person, and her message, a message more progressive than mine, seems to have struck a chord with a progressive Democratic base.  So be it.

I choose not to wear my religion on my sleeve in this, a secular context.  But as I prepared this evening to travel to Enfield’s Community Center to retrieve those unknown results, I prayed only that the Lord’s Will be done.  I believe it will be.  Therefore, tonight I am content.  I move forward.”

Robert Lynch