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Jerry Cornfield | jcornfield@heraldnet.com
Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012, 6:57 p.m.

Koster plans to formally concede Friday

Republican John Koster is preparing to concede defeat in his bid for Congress and holds his party's leaders partly to blame for the setback.

In a long email to supporters, Koster said he plans to phone Democrat Suzan DelBene on Friday morning to congratulate her on winning their contest for the 1st Congressional District seat.

"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," he wrote.

Koster cited a lack of money as a major reason for the loss and pointed a finger at state and national GOP leaders for not helping on that front.

"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."


Koster's letter also detoured into a commentary on the future of the nation following the election. He expressed disappointment at the re-election of President Barack Obama and the passage of ballot measures legalizing marijuana and gay marriage. He wrote:

"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.

DelBene beat Koster twice in Tuesday's election. She won the special election to to complete the unfinished term of Democrat Jay Inslee which runs through the end of the year. She is expected to be sworn in next week.

In the battle for the two-year seat, the Associated Press called her the winner on Tuesday night.

Here is the complete statement.

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.


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