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David Hoffman: After Illinois Senate race, keep in touch


This e-mail Saturday from David Hoffman, the Democrat who came in second to Alexi Giannoulias in the Illinois Senate primary:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

While the election results on February 2 were disappointing -- I came in second in a five-person race, losing 39% to 34% -- I feel incredibly positive about the campaign we waged for the U.S. Senate. I hope you do too.

It was very humbling to receive support from so many of you. It was an honor to receive the endorsement of every major newspaper in the state. And it was inspiring to travel around Illinois and hear directly from so many people who believe that integrity, fairness, and transparency should be paramount in our governments. As I said in my concession speech, people are suffering, but they see a system that too often takes care of the powerful and the connected, rather than those who really need the help.

You should know that this defeat does not deter me from wanting to fight to improve the lives of those who don't hold the reins of power and too often are shortchanged as a result.

Our campaign started just five months ago. And I did not make things easy for those who backed the campaign -- I did not have the support of the political elites; I started as a political unknown who had been in strictly non-political positions for 11 years; and I made the job harder by refusing to take PAC or lobbyist money.

Nevertheless, by the end of our campaign, even though we came in second, we accomplished a tremendous amount together -- as the election results show:

In Chicago, we won 15 of the 50 wards, and in this five-person race won over 50% of the vote in 7 of the wards. Again, all 3 major candidates were from Chicago.

In the Cook County suburbs, we came in first, winning 41% to 37%. We won the majority of the 30 townships and won over 50% of the vote in 10 of the townships.

We came in first in counties all around the state -- including Lake and DuPage in the northeast, Calhoun in the southwest; Winnebago in the north and Jefferson in the south.

But the numbers cannot capture what I will always remember most about your support -- the hundreds of grass-roots volunteers who stood out on a cold Illinois day with icy toes to spread the word, not because an organization or their boss told them to, but because they believed in our campaign. To all of you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting your faith in me.

I would have been honored to carry our party's torch in November. But this campaign was never about me. It's been about you -- and our common belief that we deserve leaders who are just as honest, decent and hard-working as the people they are elected to represent.

The change we seek can only come from the bottom up. It can only come if you stay involved, stay engaged, and continue to fight for the government you deserve.

Thank you for placing your faith in me; thank you for your dedication; and thank you for your passion. It truly meant so much to me.


David Hoffman

P.S. Please click here to visit our website's updated home page in order to see my concession speech. You can also stay in touch with me by joining my just-launched personal Facebook page.


I don't think we have heard the last of David Hoffman. With any luck, he'll gather the necessary support to be the Democrat that can finally take over the Daley machine. Hoffman for Mayor!

David Hoffman is just like the others who placed more faith in major media versus the grassroots voters that could have made the difference. The Dan Hynes campaign almost pulled off the upset of Governor Quinn by shifting his budget from media to grassroots organizers "on the ground" who do not have e-mails, blackberries, and other modern day technologies to keep up with campaigns.

About 30 Black grassroots activists who originally supported either Alexi Giannaoulius or Cheryle Jackson and were frustrated because they did not see themselves in the campaigns requested a meeting with David Hoffman., and guess what. The Hoffman campaign did not adopt ONE public policy position of either of these leaders or the constituency groups they represented, thus following suit with the frustrations they felt with the other candidates.

Dan Hynes went from a 26% underdog to almost coming within 7,000 votes of beating Quinn because he invested in "organizers" and not well known leaders. Hynes invested in hundreds of grassroots workers who took his campaign into areas that touched grassroots people where they were versus trying to make the major media the campaign field operations.

Now Hoffman may ask "What am I talking about," and in that question becomes the answer as to why you got excited, then lost 30 grassroots organizations who believed you when you said "your campaign was not like the others," yet
it proved to operate just like those others.

Well I am glad that I followed through on supporting and attending the meeting like I was asked, but sorry that Hoffman could not sustain the support that he had gained.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 13, 2010 8:08 AM.

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