Roy Herron’s Reflections on Losing an Election

State Sen. Roy Herron, the Democratic nominee who lost to Republican Stephen Fincher in the 8th Congressional District, sent the following “Election Night Reflections” to supporters. (He did call Fincher.)


Upon one of Abraham Lincoln’s several election defeats, on a night like this, Lincoln quipped, “I feel like the little boy who stubbed his toe in the dark. I am too old to cry, but it hurts too much to laugh.”
So it is for many of us tonight.
But Scripture teaches us in Ecclesiastes:
To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under heaven.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn, and a time to dance…
This was not our time to win this election, but there will be other elections, and there will be other times.
Perhaps for me, certainly for so many of you who have worked so hard in this campaign, there will be other times, and there will be victories.
This campaign may be over, but our work is not. People still need us. Our country still needs us.
Our cause is bigger than one campaign, one election.
To quote an author my son John shared today, “Never think that God’s delays are God’s denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out.”
So keep the fight, not against each other, but for each other.
For those for whom the Hebrew prophets demanded justice, the widows and the orphans, the sojourners and the poor; and for all those Jesus called “the least of these,” the hungry and the hurting, the sick and the needy…
Keep the fight.
For the woman at the Jackson church who passed me a note saying her three siblings had worked a combined 77 years but have now lost their jobs and need work…
Keep the fight.
For the child with the learning disability who couldn’t see the blackboard and failed three vision tests but couldn’t afford glasses because her mother is disabled and her father lost his job…
Keep the fight.
For the 63-year-old woman in Gibson County who for years has worked at a factory handling products with gnarled, arthritic fingers, and now has lost her job and doesn’t know how she’ll provide for the granddaughter she is raising…
Keep the fight.
For the Henry County man who has worked every working day for 15 years since he beat the cancer, but who has not one day had health insurance because of his “pre-existing condition”…
Keep the fight.
For the Benton County small business owner who agonizes whether to let employees go to pay for the health insurance cost increases for other workers…
Keep the fight.
For the seniors who depend on Social Security, and who, without it, would sink into poverty or worse….
Keep the faith.
For our children and grandchildren who suffer under the largest deficits and debt our country has ever known…
Keep the faith.
For the soldiers like Captain Brent Morel who gave his life defending our freedom, and for his parents, and for all the soldiers, veterans, and military families who sacrifice so much for our country…
Keep the faith.
For the strength of our state and the soul of our country…
Keep the faith.
Brothers and sisters, that is our calling. That is our cause.
No less tonight than this morning, and even more tomorrow.
Keep the fight.
Keep the faith.
I just called Stephen Fincher to acknowledge his election, and Donn Janes to thank him for his courageous campaign.
I also need to thank those of you here tonight who have kept the fight and the faith over the last year — especially Nancy Carol Sue Jane Amy Angeline Julie Ann Caroline, and our wonderful sons, John, Rick and Ben.
And some not here — my mentor Governor Ned McWherter, our dear friends Congressman John and Betty Ann Tanner who served us all so well, my Mother, who badly wants to be here but tonight is not able, and my late Father.
And the hardest working campaign staff in America. Campaign team, please raise your hands so we can recognize — and thank you.
Ecclesiastes also teaches: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might.”
Brothers and sisters, we can rest assured that we did this with all our might. And as I look at you, my family, and friends as close as family, I am filled with gratitude–and with hope.
The Apostle Paul reminds us:
“Suffering produces endurance,
Endurance produces character,
Character produces hope,
And hope does not fail us…”
Many of you suffered for this campaign, working 14-16 hours a day, six days a week, for weeks on end.
Many of you left jobs and schools to join us. Others of you did your jobs or school or both and still volunteered hundreds of hours. Your sacrifice has been astounding, your work has been impressive, your commitment to our country has been, and is, inspiring.
Your suffering has produced endurance, your endurance has produced and revealed your character, and your character gives me – and many – great hope!
What you accomplished in the last year is simply amazing. You raised over $2 million dollars. You earned 8 of 8 newspaper endorsements. You gave out thousands of books, and tens of thousands of cards. You knocked on 60,000 doors. You made 130,000 calls.
You ran through parades at festivals celebrating everything edible, from strawberries to soybeans, taters to tomatoes, catfish to doodle soup, and at festivals honoring people ranging from the Irish to famous Americans like Davy Crockett and Uncle Sam.
You did everything that could be done, and if it had been our season, it would have been more than enough. And I cannot possibly thank you enough.
We traveled 40,000 thousand miles in that old red truck to talk with thousands of Tennesseans in the 8th District. From Memphis and Millington in the west to Montgomery County in the east, from Dickson and Dover in the east, to Dresden and Dyersburg in the west, and everywhere in between. And many other Tennessee towns and cities, too.
Across the state, Tennesseans have shared your stories and struggles, your trials and tears, your heartaches and hopes. I heard you, and I won’t forget.
We will keep the fight.
We will keep the faith.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

3 thoughts on “Roy Herron’s Reflections on Losing an Election

  1. Eric Potter

    Mr. Herron talks a lot of religious language, but in reality, he is no different than other social justice leftists. The left moans and groans about the “right” trying to force religion into government, while they manipulate Christians with their socialistic interpretations of the Bible. They practice eisegesis to justify their socialistic policies.
    I am thankful that Mr. Herron lost and I hope he gives up his fight to impose social justice on our state. Meanwhile, I pray that the church will awaken to its role of proclaiming BOTH justice and truth to all regardless of race or economic group.

  2. Eric Potter

    Mr. Herron talks a lot of religious language, but in reality, he is no different than other social justice leftists. The left moans and groans about the “right” trying to force religion into government, while they manipulate Christians with their socialistic interpretations of the Bible. They practice eisegesis to justify their socialistic policies.
    I am thankful that Mr. Herron lost and I hope he gives up his fight to impose social justice on our state. Meanwhile, I pray that the church will awaken to its role of proclaiming BOTH justice and truth to all regardless of race or economic group.

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