All the votes haven’t been counted yet as I write this. However, with 81.4% of the votes counted, Lynn Woolsey has 65.2 % to Jim Judd’s 30.6%, and she has been declared the winner by the TV news organizations.
Earlier I attended the Jim Judd for Congress Election Night Celebration at the Double Tree Hotel in Rohnert Park. A good-sized crowd gathered to watch election returns, listen to a live band, and, of course, discuss the campaign just ended and what the future holds. A great cheer when up when the GOP took control of the House again. Unfortunately, that high point was followed by quite a few California setbacks such as Jerry Brown beating Meg Whitman and a whole host of Democrats on their way to taking most of the rest of the statewide offices. Then, of course, the U.S. Senate race was called in Barbara Boxer’s favor, and finally, the voters have granted Lynn Woolsey another two years in Washington D.C.
During the evening at the Double Tree Hotel, Jim Judd spoke to the crowd of supporters. First he introduced his campaign manager, Sally Hopkins — “the rock and the foundation of this campaign.”
She told the enthusiastic audience, “We’re not going behind those closed doors anymore.” She also noted that volunteers had continued phone banking until 7:30 p.m., working to get the vote out.
Both Sally Hopkins and Jim Judd thanked the volunteers profusely. Many were called by name and asked to come to the front of the room to eager, sustained applause. Probably the biggest hand went to Mrs. Jim Judd, whom her husband introduced like this: “One person I haven’t seen much of in the last ten months and I love dearly — my wife, Audrey.”
Mr. Judd spoke of how the campaign began: “Eighteen months ago we decided enough was enough and we needed some representation here. This is about all of us coming together because we believe in America.” Echoing his campaign manager’s phrase, he said, “What we’ve done here is create a foundation. We’ve opened up a door and stepped through, and there is no turning back.” The crowd met this statement with a great show of approval, just as they did when he finished his remarks with “We’re just beginning. We’re going to move forward. Thank you so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Jim Judd had never run for public office before. And most of his campaign volunteers had not really been involved in the nuts and bolts of electioneering either. Each person was somewhat out of his comfort zone. But each individual, from the neophyte candidate to his novice team. felt a kind of inner calling to “step up” (as Mr. Judd would say) and be of service in some way.
Why? Simple. There is a feeling among many Americans that our nation is being led away from the fundamental values upon which it was originally founded. Many look with alarm at the outrageous spending in Washington D.C. (and at other levels of government). They don’t agree with the massive expansion of that government. They find that common sense has been abandoned by those in power, and that career politicians have forgotten how to listen and be accountable to the citizens of this country.
And when a person of conscience and honor observes his beloved country being pushed toward disaster, the only real choice is to respond and do what is in one’s power to change that dangerous situation. Jim Judd went the extra mile: he spent the last ten months meeting voters, giving interviews, talking to a wide variety of people, sitting in planning sessions, making campaign videos, and doing all the countless other things a candidate for major office must do. I have a deep admiration for his willingness to make that effort, despite having a business, a ranch, and a family.
Too often entrenched incumbents run unopposed or get a token bit of resistance. Whatever the final election results are, Lynn Woolsey had an opponent who put up a spirited and active fight. Jim Judd’s campaign was part of the nationwide awakening of concerned citizens, and an ever-growing number of people are joining this corps. We were not numerous enough to unseat Lynn Woolsey this time. But, as Jim Judd alluded in his remarks tonight, “We’re just beginning.” We’ve been awakened and we are not going back to sleep. We’re going to be watching like hawks what Congress and the administration do in the next two years. We’re going to prepare for the next election too.
Jim Judd’s campaign was/is filled with salt-of-the-earth people: dependable, honest, perceptive, determined. I’m proud to have met and worked in some capacity with a few of them. I hope as we do move forward I’ll get to know more of them.
Most especially I was honored to do what I could to help elect Jim Judd. He’s a good man and we need more of those in government. He’s forthright and trustworthy. Finally, he understands what needs to be done to put this nation of ours back on solid ground. We need a representative like that. It made me proud to be able to vote for him because I knew he was not a compromise candidate. He was the real thing. Thanks, Jim.
Now, we are “going to move forward.” Let’s see where we can go now that we’ve “opened up a door.” Tonight’s celebration ended campaign 2010, but no one’s heard the last of us!