Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Rose Fernandez's concession speech

At the Country Springs Hotel tonight in Pewaukee:

Thank you….Thank you…

Well, while tonight did not end as we had planned, I hope all of you
join me in holding your head up high.

We brought important issues to the table during this race.

I have no doubt that Merit Pay, substantial MPS reform and the need
for higher academic standards were at the forefront because of our

Good, positive developments can still come as a result of our efforts,
so I hope all of you here in this room and all throughout Wisconsin
who supported me know that their vote mattered.

In the end, although our message was resonating, we were not able to
get it out to enough people. In an era where there is less and less in
depth coverage of the issues, television advertising is king, and we
couldn’t afford TV.

We could not compete with our opponent, but most importantly, we could
not fully counter the nearly three quarters of a million dollars WEAC
spent on his behalf.

But we sure gave them a run for their money, In spite of the spending
gap…and for that I am eternally grateful for all your help.

To my family... My husband Javier, and my children……….I can not
possibly fully express my appreciation.

Javier had to pick up the slack at home and at our business, all while
maintaining his duties with the Waukesha Fire Department.

And the kids. You were great.

I know mom was gone more over these last few months than at anytime in
your lives…your contributions won’t show up on any finance report, but
your understanding and support is what sustained me in this
race….Thank you guys. I love you.

I’d like to thank my campaign team for your guidance and dedication.
We were a scrappy bunch and I am not alone in being impressed with
what we were able to accomplish.

Unfortunately, we fell just short. But this is not a moment of
bitterness, rather just time to turn the page and move on to new

A few minutes ago I called Tony Evers and wished him congratulations
and the best of luck as he heads DPI.

While I wasn’t pleased with some of the developments in the campaign,
as I said on the campaign trail…We all have a vested interest in the
success of our public schools.

It remains my hope, that because of the heat we put on in this race,
DPI will still change.

I sincerely hope Superintendent-Elect Evers will not feel beholden to
the special interests that got him elected…and we should all give him
a chance to prove his independence.

Well, no one said this would be easy. We were the under-funded
underdog from day one. We built an insurgent campaign and exceeded
almost everyone’s expectations. I do not regret running. And I am
proud of how I ran. We stayed positive. Ran on the issues. Built an
impressive network in a short period of time.

Of course, we had hoped that more folks who tout the need for private
sector growth and public sector restraint, would invest in our
efforts. But tonight is not a night to analyze what didn’t work out.

Tonight, with all of you, I am here to appreciate what did work.
Hundreds of you made calls, donated funds, handed out literature…
Called into raido shows…wrote letters to the editor…

We ran on a platform of change and reform, and that doesn’t go away
tonight. We will, each in our own way find other avenues by which we
can advance our agenda.

I hope you stay involved. I will.

But for now, it’s time for me to step out of the spotlight, and spend
some time at home and work.

Thanks again, everyone, for your love and support. I will never forget
that when I asked, you were there for me.

This campaign was always about the Children of Wisconsin. Our shared
concern for them isn’t stilled by the results of one election. If we
always put them first, we always win!

Thank you, and God Bless.