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Now that’s what I call a Democrat.

Trudy Busch Valentine (D).

An email, sent today to Trudy Busch Valentine’s supporters:

Thank you, Missouri

As I traveled the state campaigning for U.S. Senate, I promised people everywhere that I would always be open and honest and that they would always know where I stand on issues that matter. And even though I am no longer a candidate for public office, that’s still a promise I will keep.

For me, the holidays have always been a time to reflect on the people and things I am most grateful for in my life. But this year especially, and now that the dust has settled a bit, I’ve been giving considerable thought to our campaign and the issues we ran on – and what it means for the future of Missouri.

To the people who voted for me – and even the people who didn’t – I think it’s easy sometimes to look at the results and feel defeated and hopeless. Like your voices weren’t heard or don’t matter. Like it’s somehow impossible to win in what’s become a frustratingly red state when in reality, it’s the Democrats who continue to deliver solutions for the American people.

Trust me, this isn’t the outcome my team and I wanted – and it hasn’t always been easy to accept. We were keenly aware of the obstacles we were up against. But to me, success doesn’t only have to mean winning your individual race. Together, we made progress for Missouri and accomplished a lot for which we should feel proud.

For instance, our campaign helped flip multiple legislative seats by working closely with down-ballot candidates across the state. We built a diverse coalition of support across party, racial, and socioeconomic lines that helped us outperform previous statewide Democratic candidates, including President Biden, in nearly every county. We implemented an aggressive field strategy that resulted in direct contact with hundreds of thousands of voters. And we raised awareness about critical issues like a woman’s freedom to choose, foreign ownership of American farmland, lowering the costs of basic necessities like healthcare and prescription drugs, and increasing access to mental healthcare and addiction treatment.

I strongly believe that these things matter. These are tangible results that we can point to today to help establish a foundation and framework for another candidate and their campaign tomorrow. I still see plenty of reasons to feel hopeful because lasting, meaningful change doesn’t happen overnight or in a single election. It takes considerable time, effort, and resources – and a steadfast commitment to showing up and doing all the unglamourous work that’s required of us to build a stronger, safer, more inclusive Missouri for everyone.

That means we must continue to hold our elected leaders accountable for their words and their actions. That means we must continue to call out bigotry, racism, homophobia, and all forms of discrimination without hesitation. That means we must continue to reject extremism on both sides of the aisle. That means we must continue to put partisan politics aside and put people first. That means we must continue to stand up for our basic civil liberties and freedoms. And without question, that means we must continue to defend and protect our democracy with everything we’ve got.

And in case there is any doubt, no, I’m not giving up on these worthy fights. As a nurse, widowed mother of six, and a grandmother, I ran for U.S. Senate to listen to people and to open my heart and mind to their challenges and struggles to try and make a difference. And it was the greatest honor of my life. I remain in awe of the resounding message nearly one million Missourians sent with their votes on Election Day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You taught me so much and trusted me to carry forward your hopes, fears, and dreams. For that, I’ll be forever grateful.

Because of you, we chose truth over fear. We chose compassion over hate. We chose acceptance over intolerance. We chose integrity over dishonesty. And we chose unity over division. That’s the Missouri I know and love and have been proud to call home my entire life. And that’s the Missouri I know we can be.

Thank you,