I am humbled by the love and support of the hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donors who powered our big, joyful, and tenacious campaign for the 51st Assembly. I am grateful for those who gave me 48% of the vote. We didn’t win, but we most certainly succeeded in many ways.
We showed that it is possible to run a competitive race by leading with kindness, curiosity, truth, and hard work. We took on gerrymandered maps with grassroots boots on the ground and an unswerving message of pride in our communities. We refused to employ attack ads or incite fear, and ran the ethical and hopeful race we intended. We came up short on votes, but we absolutely made our voices heard, and that is how Democracy holds elected representatives accountable.
I am incredibly proud that we have made Water Quality a top priority for any candidate running in SW Wisconsin. We have made Fair Maps a top priority. We have made Health Care Reform a priority. Without a strong showing like 48% of the vote, these issues would not be up for discussion. But the work doesn’t stop once the ballots are counted. Now it’s time to stay engaged with all of our elected officials, watch their voting records, and make sure they do what they said they’d do about the issues we care about. My record shows that you can be civil, and still push your representatives to work on issues important to you.
I remain inspired by the hope and the dreams you have for a rural Wisconsin future, and a just America, that will support good lives for our children and grandchildren. I have been especially inspired by the young leaders I met in each community over the course of this campaign. Our children are already stepping up into positions as teachers, first responders, volunteers, business owners, and board members. Let’s encourage their dreams of good lives in rural Wisconsin. Let’s listen to them deeply, and commit to helping them achieve those dreams. Let’s do everything we can to empower our young people to create a future here.
In SW Wisconsin, we understand that no one political party has a monopoly on the truth. From the narrow margin of victory, it is clear that the representative in this seat should not be the servant of a party. Yet deep fractions between red and blue in our communities are real and raw. I encourage all elected officials to accept as a sacred responsibility the call to heal our divisions. And I ask you, neighbors, to join me in answering this call as well.
In 2021, let’s each find something we agree on with someone from another political persuasion, and work on that to achieve common successes for our communities.
Kriss Marion, former candidate for 51st Assembly