This post is part of a series:
- Chris Hardie Announces Council Candidacy
- The dance of newcomer and incumbent
- Demystifying running for office
- Put another white man in office?
- Going door to door
- Scenes from Primary Season
- Scenes from election day
- Chris wins in the primary!
- Post-primary analysis
- Why THIS city election matters
- On the 2012 City Budget Process
- Chris supports local challenge to ballot law
- Chris responds to public access questions for candidates
- Political parties and the "So What?" test
- Our 'insufficient' answers about hope
- A Plan for Richmond
- The balancing act in political candidate debates
- A Pledge to Voters
- Violent crime in Richmond
- Chris's campaign concludes, work continues
In today's election, the citizens of Richmond made a choice about who they want to help shape the future of this community in the coming years. While I am of course disappointed that I was not elected to City Council, I am grateful for the votes I did receive and for the amazing support I've had along the way.
Some highlights from the unofficial results [PDF]:
- 5,945 voters voted
- 2,717 of those voted for me to be one of the three members of City Council At-Large, 201 votes short of a win
This has been my first foray into politics, and it's been an incredibly rewarding journey. As I've walked through neighborhoods in Richmond, I've had a chance to hear from residents here what issues matter most to them. As I've sat down with community leaders and decision-makers, I've learned about the complexities of building a thriving city in tough economic times. As I've talked with supporters and members of the media, I've enjoyed being challenged to communicate my hopes and views concisely and authentically. In these last nine plus months I've come to appreciate how much important work there is to do in this great town, and how many opportunities we have to make it better.
I congratulate the winners of today's election, and wish them the very best as they take office or continue in their existing roles. I ask each of them to stay true to the promises they've made during this election, and to hold themselves accountable to the ideas and vision that they set forth in their campaigns.
My campaign would not have been possible without the gracious support and enthusiasm of those who have lent their time and talents in many forms:
Thank you to everyone who has approached me over the last few years to encourage me to run for office.
Thank you to everyone who put a yard sign up or passed out brochures and door hangers to your friends and neighbors. I know that for many of you, this was the first time you have publicly endorsed a political candidate of any sort, and I'm honored by that.
Thank you to everyone who gave financial support to my campaign. Your donations helped get the word out in tangible, effective ways.
Thank you to my fellow candidates for putting yourselves out there for public scrutiny in the name of service to this community. Your time and effort has benefited Richmond.
I especially appreciate the ways in which fellow candidate Mike Bennett and I were able to partner around our shared messages, and the care and optimism with which he's conducted himself throughout this campaign.
Thank you to the Palladium-Item and WCTV for creating multiple venues and resources for voters to learn in-depth about the candidates, and to other media outlets like WHON and RadioTroy.com for covering the election through candidate interviews.
Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce, the Human Rights Commission, the Center City Development Corporation and the Student Initiative for Equality and Justice for sponsoring various debates and forums.
Thank you to the many government officials and past candidates who helped me navigate the rules and customs of local elections.
Thank you to my friends and coworkers who have endured my unusual schedule and slightly scattered demeanor over this past year.
Thank you to my family members who have cheered me on from a distance.
Thanks to other individuals who have made special contributions of their time and talents: Emily Palmer; Roland Kreager; Cindi Goslee; Brett Stewart; Aaron Nell; Welling Hall; Justin O'Brien; my mom, Cynthia Hardie; Katy Elmore, Darren Palmer, Mark Stosberg; Matt Richter; Mayor Sally Hutton; Councilwoman Kelley Cruse-Nicholson; Sue Roberson.
A very special thank you goes to my wife Kelly. Over the last year we've had some amazing adventures together, some planned and some not, some wonderful and some difficult, and throughout she's been a steady and encouraging presence that was essential to my own energy and passion for this race. As in the primary, Kelly challenged me to be the best candidate I could be while supporting and loving me all the way.
Even though I won't be serving as a member of City Council, I'm committed to remaining an active participant in the work of making Richmond a better place, and I'm excited for the conversations and work that will continue in the coming months and years. Stay tuned to this website for a forthcoming announcement about ways you can be a part of that.