Election Night Remarks
Congressmember-Elect Mike Levin
Del Mar Hilton – November 6, 2018
Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you to the amazing Francine Busby for that great introduction. No one has done more to elect Democrats in San Diego for the last two decades, and we are so grateful for your help.
The work of so many in our community has led us to this moment. You knocked on every door, made every call, organized and attended every rally and house party, and made sure that our voices were heard in this critical election. And tonight, thanks to all of YOU, we have finally flipped California’s 49th District!
And while tonight we celebrate a great victory in the 49th District, that’s not all that we celebrate.
Tonight, our country has rediscovered the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party has rediscovered its voice.
I am very happy to report that because of your hard work – and the efforts of campaigns like ours all across America – the US House of Representatives, once again, is in the hands of the people!
I’d like to thank my amazing wife, Chrissy. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you. I could not have a better partner. Thank you for your tireless efforts to engage voters all across this district. And I’ve never loved you more. Thank you, sweetie!
There are so many more people that I’d like to thank, and if you’ll bear with me, I’ll get to that in just a minute.
Tonight is our moment to celebrate. And we will. We have worked very hard to get here. But make no mistake – the real work starts NOW.
THIS is a moment for the Democratic Party to lead.
That’s what we have promised the American people to do. That’s the responsibility – and the privilege – we have asked for.
So let us now begin that work – humbly, bravely, and honestly. Let’s be all the things we’ve pledged to be, the things that America has been seeking for these past two years.
Let’s build an economy designed to support the working people of this country, instead of just the wealthy. Let’s invest in great public schools and our amazing teachers.
Let’s invest in our roads. And our bridges. And our future. Let’s lead the way with sustainable infrastructure and grow the great clean energy jobs of tomorrow. Let’s commit to protecting our planet, and believing in science again.
Let’s face immigration reform with an eye toward safety AND compassion.
Let’s remind our allies – AND our adversaries – that our status as a world leader doesn’t come from the size of our armies, but rather from the power of our faith in democracy.
Let’s run the kind of House of Representatives that honors Article One of the Constitution, a House that believes Oversight Committees actually ought to do oversight – one that is unafraid to pursue real and unflinching investigations into ANY threat that might seek to undermine America, whether it be foreign or domestic.
Let’s be the kind of House of Representatives that DOESN’T celebrate on the White House lawn after doing something as un-American as voting to take away people’s health care. Instead, let’s fight for quality and affordable health care for all!
Let’s stand with our active duty men and women, along with our reservists and retirees, and let’s take care of our veterans who have sacrificed so much to serve our country and protect our freedoms.
Let me be clear about something. Tonight is NOT only a rejection of Republicans in Congress, it is also an affirmation of our uniquely American belief in checks and balances to Presidential power.
Tonight is NOT only the repudiation of a misguided Commander in Chief – it is also an invitation to that Commander in Chief to begin governing justly.
And tonight is a re-statement of our unshakable faith in the Rule of Law.
These values, these ideals, represent the true greatness of America because they derived from the people of America. Our Founders designed them. Our parents and grandparents defended them in bloody, costly wars. And tonight YOU have reaffirmed and validated them – not just here in the 49th District, but all over the United States of America.
To be even a small part of THIS moment in our nation’s history is the greatest honor of my lifetime.
Two years ago, Chrissy and I started this journey, running against a nine-term incumbent, and the wealthiest member of Congress. The odds were stacked against us. But with your help, we built something truly incredible. We attended 197 House Parties, knocked on countless doors, engaged thousands of volunteers, sweated out ONE Jungle Primary, got help from over 175,000 donors, made over ONE MILLION phone calls, drank far too much coffee, and didn’t get nearly enough sleep.
And now we are HERE. Ready to govern. Ready to legislate and navigate and investigate – just as those Founders commanded us to do. Ready to make CONGRESS great again.
YOU have made that possible; and my debt to you is personal and eternal. It will be my honor to represent you, and to serve you.
Now back to all of those people that I need to thank.
My parents, Andy and Henrietta Levin, and my in-laws, Ed and Judy Parker, are here tonight. Please give them a big round of applause. Thank you for setting such a great example and for always being there with your love and support.
To our children, Jonathan and Elizabeth, I hope you’ll remember not just this victory tonight, but the values that led to this pursuit of public service. Your mom and I love you very much and I promise we’ll go to Legoland soon.
To our amazing campaign team, I cannot thank you enough.
To our brilliant consultant and chief strategist, Parke Skelton, I’m so grateful for your creativity, your unsurpassed knowledge of Southern California politics, and most of all, your friendship. This victory would not have been possible without you. Thank you, Parke.
To our fearless campaign manager, Adam Berkowitz, thank you for being as tough, smart, and organized as anyone I have ever worked with. You’ve successfully landed our campaign plane on the runway TWICE – even in the primary when we ran out of fuel.
To our field director, Kyle Krahel-Frolander, thank you for building what I believe to be the best field organization of any Congressional campaign in the country. I’m sure you’re very happy that your hometown of Oceanside will now be represented by a Democrat in Congress!
I want to thank each of you who worked so hard as part of our incredible team: Robbie Farewell, who was the very first person we hired and who has done an incredible job as our political director. Nelson Goins, who did a great job as our deputy campaign manager.
And in no particular order: Stephanie Daily Smith, Nate Shutman, Lydia Chavez, Blake Morris, Hunter Jones-Phillips, Beryl Lewis, Ashleigh Padilla, Erik Nilsen, Jared Sclar, Hugh McGrane, Rachel Agarpo, Elyse O’Neill, Jonathan Chang, Owen Beal, Brandon Weber, Shahin Motia, Meeno Peluce, Tim Merritt, Kevin Sabellico, Kim Ennis, Nick Anas, and Lannette Rangel, I thank you all! YOU made this possible, and Chrissy and I will forever be grateful.
Thanks also to our friends at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the California Democratic Party, the San Diego County Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party of Orange County. I’m so grateful for all your support.
We also have with us many who led the protests outside of Congressmember Darrell Issa’s office for 69 weeks, rain or shine, including this morning. It is your commitment and fundamental decency that has inspired me every step of the way. Special thanks are due to Ellen Montanari and the Resistas, without whom we would not be here celebrating tonight. Thank you, Ellen!
Your movement led to the creation of Flip the 49th, an organization that has supplemented our campaign’s efforts in the MOST important way – conversations with voters at their doors and on the phones. I am so grateful to the hard work of all of those involved with Flip the 49th – especially Terra Lawson-Remer, Dave Lagstein, Cipriano Vargas, and Johnny Papagiannis. Thank you all so much.
I am so grateful to the California League of Conservation Voters and their political Director Mike Young, the national League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club for your aggressive campaign to help educate the voters on the environmental issues in our district.
Thanks to the other organizations who have done so much to help us, like Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Democracy for America, and our amazing friends at Moms Demand Action.
Thanks to San Diego City Councilmembers Barbara Bry and Chris Ward, who were the two first local elected officials to endorse our campaign. And thanks to our good friend Congressmember Adam Schiff, for being the very first member of Congress to support us. I am so excited that Congressmember Schiff will soon be the chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
Thanks and congratulations to our friends Tasha Boerner-Horvath and Nathan Fletcher. Tasha is going to be a great Assemblymember for North County San Diego and Nathan will finally bring a Democratic voice to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors!
To our brothers and sisters in the labor movement, thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of working people and to turn out the vote. You’ve stood with me and I will PROUDLY stand with you. I’d like to particularly thank IBEW 569, which was the first San Diego labor union to endorse us in the primary. Thank you, Gretchen Newsom – I’ll never forget it.
Thanks also to our friends former Congressmember Gabby Giffords and her husband Captain Mark Kelly for their leadership and support. And to my dear friends Frank Barbaro and Ira Lechner, thank you for believing in me every step of the way.
Our victory tonight has only been possible with the work of these incredible people and organizations, and literally thousands of volunteers who are too numerous to mention – let’s give them all one last big round of applause.
Let me close by saying this.
America’s strength comes from our ability to work together — to knit together a landscape of people from different places and of different races into one nation.
For this to be a place of freedom and opportunity for all, we must not allow ourselves to be divided against each other based on what someone looks like, where they come from, or how much money they have. It’s time to stand up for each other and come together. We must keep fighting to make this a country where freedom and opportunity are for everyone, with no exceptions.
Whether you voted for our campaign or not, I look forward to serving as YOUR representative. I ask that you hold ME accountable, and that we work together as one community to solve the problems that we face. I also ask that we put country over party, and our shared values over our petty differences.
Our work together begins right now and it begins with each of YOU.
Thank you all very much!