I've gotten into some interesting exchanges with individuals on DK regarding Mark Wilson's challenge of corporate-friendly Maria Cantwell in Washington State's Democratic primary. I felt that we could do better with a more progressive candidate, but many felt it wasn't worth the risk. Well, it turns out Wilson agrees with those who feel that winning in November is more important than getting a candidate whose stance on issues might be preferable. His letter to his supporters announcing the end of his candidacy is reprinted below.
I am deeply grateful for all your support. As I have come to get to know many of you I have discovered great treasures of the heart and a vast wealth of the spirit from which I draw hope, courage and confidence.
Now, though, is the time for unity.
After 16 months of campaigning in Washington State for the US Senate, I have come to terms with issues of deep conscience.
In all consideration, my opinion is the best remedy for meeting the challenges of the future, and to be victorious, is for me to withdraw my candidacy for the US Senate and to endorse and work with Senator Maria Cantwell for re-election.
This is not a concession. My conviction is that supporting Senator Cantwell is the surest way to winning for us all.
I stated all along that my goal in this effort was not to run against anyone, but to run for everyone. This has been a campaign of our values. And, that the highest priority is that we Democrats retain this important seat.
Senator Maria Cantwell is the best choice for achieving that important goal. The fact is that Senator Cantwell has time and again stood, face in the wind of adversity, and persevered on our behalf. Now is the time to get behind her and push.
Please join me in this important effort.
Not long ago Senator Cantwell withstood the blowing chill from the north and courageously faced down Ted Stevens from Alaska and won a critical environmental victory on ANWR.
There have been many instances, time and again, where her character has shined. With a Democratic majority in the US Senate she will rise and shine on our behalf again and again. Of this I am sure.
I have had a deep and personal one-on-one conversation with Senator Cantwell. I came away convinced we are on the same path when it comes to solving the crisis in Iraq and the potential crisis with Iran.
We agree there must be no permanent American military bases in Iraq.
We are also in agreement that every American should have access to quality health care. We could not get any further from these important goals and remedies than with an insurance executive.
Think about it. Access to health care or an insurance executive. You can't have both.
The Bush, Cheney, McGavick Republican policies have been tragic for the people of Washington State, for the United States and for people all around the world. It will take tremendous effort to get on course away from the rocks of the Bush, Cheney, McGavick nightmare. But, with a Democratic majority in in congress in 2006 we can do it.
As Democrats though, we cannot merely stand upon the rubble of the Republican ruins.
We must articulate a clear resolute vision for the future with sound policies grounded in peace, progressive renewable energy solutions, access to quality health care, true human and civil rights including LGBT equality, while protecting a woman's right to choose and fiscal responsibility.
We must lead the way to hopeful future for our children.
Getting Americans back to work in good paying family wage jobs that cannot be exploited overseas to the lowest common denominator is critical.
Getting control of an out of control system is possible with instant runoff voting and clean money public funded campaigns.
This is the foundation for fair access to serving in our communities for those whose call to service is deafened by big money in politics.
Unlike McGavick, who is able to campaign every day, Senator Cantwell still has a full time job-- representing us. On top of her job she is campaigning. She needs our support and help to unify all progressives behind her. She asked and I've agreed to work with her to help engage her campaign with you and all progressives.
My values and issues have not changed. My strategy has.
I will be taking an active full-time role in Senator Cantwell's re-election campaign. I will be a constant voice for the peace and justice community, for veterans, military families and labor. We all need to be fully engaged.
The Bush, Cheney, McGavick policies have been tragic for the world, the United States, and for us here in Washington State. Mike McGavick, whatever he might say if elected would be another vote for the Bush Administration.
You know we cannot do this without your help. It is time for the Washington State Progressive, Peace and Justice democratic community to come together again as a family united, working for our common goals for a hopeful future with real meaning for everyone.
United our voice has resonance and is heard. Together we will win with Team Cantwell in 2006.
I am excited about bringing our voices forward in this campaign. I am at your service.
If only we could count on all Democrats to be as gracious in support of their victorious primary opponents.