I have spent the past few days thinking about what to say more than just "thank you." I want to take a minute to say that this past year has been the best of my life. This campaign made me believe in the difference a single person can make. As I read through the results from election night in detail, I saw names of people across the county whom I am privileged to have met. From Ambler, where the race ended in an exact tie election night, to Democratic wins in places where Democrats have never won before, to losses in areas where Democrats have had control for some time. It was an intense night.
People say all the time, "I don't know how you do it", or "are doing it", or "did it," but at each and every meeting I attended, I saw something that made me want to work harder. I knew that I had friends and allies in each corner of this county. And it is a large county. From my new friend Will Holt, who also suffered a crushing loss, to people across the county who believed in me and provided support from the beginning.
I know that while all of the headlines read "Democrats WIN!" each defeat for each local candidate was crushing. The detail under the fold reveals hundreds of candidates in over fifty municipalities who all worked together to make that happen at the top of the ticket. Losses for Magisterial District Justice in Upper Dublin (by 35 votes) and a monumental win against a 30 year incumbent here in Abington were all unexpected results that took us by surprise.
Each time I thought about what to write, I thought I will miss something, or leave someone out, so I am deliberately not naming names, except for a very few. Please allow me to say my thank yous:
I would be remiss if I did not mention my Hee for Deeds Team: David Floyd, my Treasurer and Cheerleader, Kevin Shaw who designed and maintained HeeforDeeds.com, Bill England, my Communications Director, and Neil Deegan, my Campaign Finance Advisor.
As for my family, my husband Robert Niewodowski, who held down the fort at home this past year, my son Bobby, who is the light of my life, and my family who worked the polls: my mom, Barbara Hee and my sister who came up from Chapel Hill North Carolina, Carol Seagle who both had to confess that they had a great time doing it even though they had never done it before; my brother-in-law, Bob Balmer who worked at the Ardsley Community Center and who told me that Commissioner Dennis Zappone confided in him that he was actually going to vote for me over my opponent because of Bob's lobbying efforts all day. I would like to mention my own Republican committee person, who was introducing me to neighbors and asking them to vote for me and who hugged me at the end of the night! I had a great day at the polls.
Without the amazing support of the ARDC, each of whom individually lifted me up and who collectively gave me an amazing lead to take out to the rest of the county: you know who you are. Please know that every month, the ARDC Meeting recharged me and re-energized me to make it through the next round. And to our new Commissioners, I know that you will do our community proud. And of course, our amazing school board, who stomped their opposition.
And to the Montco Young Dems, who all but adopted me, even though I am soooo not a YOUNG Dem and came out on a snowy night to Party with the Planets (and may I take a moment to mention Abington's OWN Your Favorite Band The Planets!!!) and who, each time I meet with them, give me hope for our party's future. We have a deep talent pool here in Montgomery County and the future is bright!
And to the Montgomery County Democratic Women's Leadership Initiative, who are amazing and will be getting more women into office!
And to our current elected officials, especially Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, who has been a role model and great mentor and supporter.
And to my new friends in Labor. Thank you for your investment in me.
And to the Montgomery County Democratic Party: all fifteen area leaders and the committees were amazingly welcoming and supportive.
To the other Row Office Candidates, Ann, Diane, Mark, D. Bruce, Walter, Jason and Will: it was a pleasure.
Finally, a word for Josh and Leslie: this campaign was amazing. At every turn you supported us and welcomed us and coordinated to be truly a TEAM. With the backing of Marcel, Dianna, Jeanne, Lauren, Lee, and the dozens of Shapiro Richards staffers (all of whose names I really believe I just finally learned!!!!) you two lead us to make history and I am privileged to have been there for a front row seat. I know you are the best of what Montgomery County has to offer and I know you will do us proud as you lead our county forward!
I know that by now, the award show music would be playing and I would be pulled off of the stage, and I didn't even win. So, this brings me to the end of what I think I can reasonably expect anyone to read. I have always loved the phrase "That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger!" and I'm not dead, so I must have gotten really really strong this year.
As for me, you ask, how are you? What is next? The Democratic National Convention in Charlotte looks to be fun; I want to go as a Delegate. Please support me. Hee at the DNC! Yes it rhymes!!