I thank you for all your hard work and support during my last 910 days of campaigning.
It was your challenge to the power structure that weakened Dennis Hastert in 2006,
culminating in a Democratic victory in the March 8th special primary.
This campaign has never been about me as an individual.
Any success that we have achieved in building a stronger political structure in Illinois and raising the bar on our Democratic opponents is because of you.
Many of you have written e-mails encouraging the pursuit of the recount over the last four weeks.
I have considered and carefully weighed the opinions of those who worked hard going door-to-door and contributed for real change.
However we have to remember that the possible is not always probable, and a recount will be costly in terms of both volunteer time and supporter money, and there is no guarantee.
In light of Saturday’s election results, and in consultation with my senior campaign staff, I have directed my attorney this morning to withdraw the recount petitions.
Because our Congressional campaign is over does not mean I will end my involvement in electoral politics. I vowed to stay in until our service men and women return from Iraq, and I have every intention of honoring that vow.
My brother and I worked on our first campaign in 2004. He recently sent a picture with his son Luke and offered his thoughts on the election:
“… let them know, that despite everything you are going to fight on for Single Payer, because that is where the Democratic party should be, fair trade agreements, because that is where the Democratic party should be, and so on…”
That is what I plan to do; stay involved and fight for real change.
I did not get involved in politics for personal gain or power.
I got involved because the alternative was doing nothing about the injustices I see every day.
Bobby Kennedy was fond of saying, “the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who fail to act in great times of moral crisis.”
As Iraq and the economy continue to burn, I hope that everyone will stay active in electoral politics, will stay informed and will hold all our elected officials accountable for the decisions they make in our name.