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In my work in Washington State, I get press releases a lot. These are the press releases from John "the rape thing" Koster and Preserve Marriage Washington, trying to get their heads around what just happened. The shock (and bitterness) is palpable. Read below the fold (boldface is mine):

From Koster:

I write you this evening to humbly thank you for your loyal support for my campaign during the past year. As you know, we stood together and absorbed my opponent's punishing multi-million dollar attack ads; and in the end, we were outspent more than 5 - 1, yet our "people powered" grassroots efforts allowed us to stay on our feet and go toe to toe, and to contend for the win right up to the final moments of the campaign.

Sadly, and for reasons untold, neither the National Republican Congressional Committee nor the Washington State Republican Party stepped up to provide us with anything more than token support. To be frank, we were on our own, yet thanks to people such as you, we nearly overcame the odds. For this reason, I could not be prouder of my campaign team and the great people of Washington's 1st Congressional District.

With more than 50% of the votes counted so far, we have not conceded yet, but remain substantially behind at 53.33% - 46.67 %.  At this point, it would take at least a minor miracle in the final vote tallies for us to come from behind to win. I have discussed the situation with my team and it is my current plan to call Suzan DelBene on Friday to concede the race and congratulate her on winning the congressional seat.

Like many Americans, I am stunned at the tough night so many on the conservative side had around the country on Tuesday, and that Barack Obama was re-elected as President. Sean Hannity remarked yesterday that he wondered if the "allure and appeal of socialism and redistribution of wealth has taken hold."

I hope he is wrong.

I am equally stunned that we have legalized marijuana right here in our home state of Washington; and if the slim margin favoring the pro Referendum-74 vote holds up, we will have legalized same-sex marriages as well.

It seems obvious to me that we have swung wildly in the wrong political direction and that we are now at a point where our society WILL suffer the consequences inherent with bad law and liberal representation.

Ben Franklin challenged future generations of Americans when he said "we have given you a Republic if you can keep it". To heed Franklin's wise words, it will be important in the coming days that each and every one of us continues to do our part in defending the Republic - as we are likely in for some difficult times!

We must, however, keep the faith and keep our chins up. We must dig down deep and continue the battle for truth wherever possible, working to defend our values and way of life through our community involvement, church outreach, clubs and social gatherings. We must remain in the battle if we intend to win the war.

Hard as it may be at this moment, we must also pray for our leaders at all levels of government as we are commanded in the Holy Scriptures. Pray that they would govern with honesty and integrity; that they would understand and implement justice through constitutional law as endowed by our Creator.  

"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior..." -1 Timothy 2:1-3

Again, I humbly thank you for your loyal support as well as your continued friendship. It has been an honor to have run for the United States Congress intent on representing people such as you. May God continue to bless this great nation and may we as a people remain worthy of those blessings for many generations to come.

With sincere thanks and appreciation,

John Koster

Joseph Backholm, Chairman of Preserve Marriage Washington, released the following statement today:

“With added results showing that we have not closed the gap, it now appears clear that Referendum 74 will be narrowly approved. We are disappointed in losing a tough election battle on marriage by a narrow margin. But while we are disappointed, we are not defeated. We are fighting for a cause that is true, and beautiful, and right—the sacred institution of marriage. It’s a cause worth fighting for, and we will continue to educate citizens and policymakers on the timeless truth that real marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

We knew this was not going to be an easy fight. Washington is a deep blue state and one of the most secular states in the country. Washington has a very high percentage of voters who never attend church, and polling showed that 80 percent of unchurched voters approved of Referendum 74. On top of that, our opponents had a giant financial advantage, outspending us by $10 million, so the odds became even more difficult. Plus, we were fighting Washington’s political establishment and news media—with The Seattle Times taking the unprecedented step of not just endorsing the referendum, but of actively campaigning for its approval. Nevertheless, we ran a strong campaign that we can be proud of—a campaign based on honesty and integrity.

Our opponents and some in the media will try to portray this election as a turning point, but it’s not a turning point to win on your home turf. The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in this very liberal and secular state. The results show only that in a deep blue state, with a huge financial advantage, gay marriage activists can win—barely. Further, the results indicate that a significant percentage of Washington voters are troubled by redefining marriage. Washingtonians know that women and men are not interchangeable—that children need both a mother and a father—and this election does not represent a sea change in their understanding of that reality.

We are grateful for the support of tens of thousands of volunteers who stood for the timeless truth that real marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Preserve Marriage Washington is a coalition of community and faith groups and hundreds of thousands of citizens who support marriage as the union of one man and one woman. For more information, visit www.PreserveMarriageWashington.com.

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