All across our city, preparations have begun for this week’s festivities. Thanksgiving is a time not only to demonstrate our gratitude, but also to take stock of the abundance so many of us enjoy.
Since I began my campaign for State Senate earlier this year, I have met and talked with hundreds of voters, eager for progress in the legislature and new opportunities for Democratic leadership across the state. As I walked the 70 miles of this district in August, I was struck by the diverse neighborhoods and demographics that our next Senator will be charged to represent. It is truly is a vibrant and changing district, ripe with promise to lead the rest of Tennessee in economic development, educational advocacy and civil rights protections. These experiences have left me inspired, not only by the potential inherent in the next legislative term, but, more importantly, by the hard-working people across this community who are committed to bringing it to fruition. For that, I am very thankful.
The campaign has also given me the opportunity to take stock, to understand the demands that would be placed on me as Senator and to recognize that those demands, while necessary for the progress of the state, would be shared by my children and family. The campaign has shown me, too, that in order to lead the rest of Tennessee, Nashville must first model the kind of collaboration and results-driven leadership that would necessarily be undermined by a contentious, contested primary. The conclusion is clear: my best contribution, right now, is to serve at the local level, focusing on my important work as a Metro Councilman and my essential work as Cecilia and Walter’s Dad.
Therefore, today, I am announcing that I am withdrawing from the race for State Senate for District 21.
As a student of history and an admirer of President Theodore Roosevelt, I was pleased to realize this week that one of my favorite TR quotes comes from his Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1901, and it seemed appropriate to share with you here:
We have prospered in things material and have been able to work for our own uplifting in things intellectual and spiritual. Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us; and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips and shows itself in deeds.
Much has been given to me, and much expected, and I plan to honor that by helping to make Nashville the strongest community in the nation: a city that reflects in its legislative policy the welcoming, creative, sustainable vision of this city that is so abundant in the individual neighborhoods that comprise it.
I cannot express sufficiently the appreciation that I have for each of you, my friends and supporters, as you’ve helped and encouraged me in this race. I am truly grateful.
Now, we have work to do here locally, and I hope you’ll join me in getting it done.