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A year ago today, I stepped into West Philadelphia at 6:00 am to shake the hands of passersby and say “thank you.”  The night before, I had not won the Senate seat we had campaigned for in Pennsylvania. Instead, I won something that inspired and humbled me even more:  the support and beliefs of so many.  I don’t think that there is anything like a campaign in the company of Americans that can give one such warm memories of who we are, from our boundless aspirations to our wonderful American character.  I came away convinced more than ever about the greatness of us, of America.  Therefore, since that morning in Philadelphia, I spent the past year saying “thank you” for what you gave me.

We revisited our 67 counties of Pennsylvania to see our volunteers – and others showed up.  We crisscrossed the Commonwealth again to thank as many of our contributors as we could touch.  Then, from Boston to Washington and Florida, Chicago to Texas, we moved west through Nevada to California, ending the trail in Seattle this past month.  Whether meetings in cities and counties or numerous phone calls – or visits to hundreds of the congregations of faith that had welcomed me – I experienced once more what drove me to serve:  our dream of America.  From the man who called out from a passing trash truck, “Hey, Joe, we’ve got your back,” to the veteran who wrote, “Keep your bow to the wind and don’t take any water over your smokestack,” I will always carry with me the memory of your dreams, for it was what I also loved in the U.S. military – Americans striving for their own achievement, but always with a sense of being part of a greater effort.

What’s next? I will continue to discuss and speak out on the issues that confront us, building upon efforts of the past year.  Just some of them are:

*Pushing the issues, talking about everything from the economy and small business to defense and foreign policy

*Education visits – elementary through college – and projects for at-risk youth

*Chambers of Commerce and businesses and workforce training efforts

*Forums on energy and the environment, including on the Marcellus Shale, and health care reform

*And veterans…before speaking this Veterans Day in Johnstown, PA, I will visit a maximum security prison as I did last year to also thank our veterans there; how well we work to prevent more from incarceration or homelessness with proper treatment and assistance also remains my focus

Where will this lead?  I have been fortunate to have the love of a wonderful wife, Susan, who blessed me this past year with time to be at home with my daughter, Alex, now ten and going on twenty-two!  In the months to come I will begin to find a way to serve again – in what form I don’t yet know.  But I do know that I owe you for giving me and my family the opportunity to earn your trust.  I will not let you down in determining how I will now keep it.

In the meantime, I would like to keep you periodically updated on this effort…thank you so very much!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    PA 2010 Senate Candidate, Congressman, Admiral, Director for Defense Policy, Director of Navy Counter-Terrorism, but most importantly, Dad. Follow me at and

    by Joe Sestak on Thu Nov 03, 2011 at 08:18:57 AM PDT

  •  I don't live in PA but I support you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, sherlyle, Mostel26

    and what you stand for. You are the type of politician we need and I think will, ultimately, get if we stick with the general trends we see developing with OWS. There is a divide in this country and it isn't necessarily a partisan divide.

    On the one hand we have the corrupt element in this society that seek to destroy the economy through all the well-documented ills of crony capitalism. This group has come to dominate our economic and political lives such that no reform is even theoretically possible using normal channels. They live by inducing fear in the populace over slight or imaginary threats and by causing ethnic and tribal/religious differences to be emphasized.

    On the other hand there are those people who want a pragmatic change that offers society change based on evaluating the real needs of our society not just those that enrich the 1%.

  •  Please run again. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanesnana, Mostel26

    Wear the sweater more often. You came across as a stiff speaker, but in the sweater your words flow better and you are more human.

    After your loss, you talked so relaxed and real. I asked my TV why didn't we see this side of you before.

    I'll support you whatever you run for.

  •  We need you in PA-7 (0+ / 0-)

    I'm tired of seeing Pat Meehan take vote after vote after vote that hurts 99% of the people he is supposed to represent in Congress.

    Also, a Sestak run for PA-7 will pump up a better level of Democratic turnout and help some folks running for PA House in the West burbs!

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