Seventeen votes. Just 17 votes. In the wake of reports that Sen. Douglas Henry now has 5,734 votes to challenger Jeff Yarbro’s 5,717
in the roller-coaster District 21 primary — whose results will be certified tomorrow, though the actual tally will never be known for certain
— Yarbro has sent a concession and thank-you email to supporters. Full text after the jump.
Earlier this afternoon, the Election Commission concluded its recount of the ballots cast in the August 5 election, and it's now official that Senator Henry has won the Democratic nomination for State Senate.
A few moments ago, I spoke with Senator Henry to congratulate him on his victory. I pledged my support and help in doing whatever I can to help bring progress to the state that we both love.
Senator Henry has devoted his life to the service of Tennessee and her people. Over the last several months, I have had the fortune of campaigning across the 21st district with him. More than most, I can attest to his energy, his intellect, and his genuine respect for his fellow citizens. I will do what I can to help him between now and November and over the next four years. And I know you will too.
Because this campaign was never about him or me. And certainly not about old or young, left or right, or any of the other outdated divisions that stop progress in its tracks. It was about breaking the logjam in the state legislature and moving beyond the small politics that have stood in the way of solving problems. And we need to work toward that tomorrow, just as we did yesterday.
In a political climate where fear and cynicism seem to dominate, we ran a campaign based on ideas. Even though we fell a few votes short, I wouldn't have run this campaign any other way. The real issues we ran on are not going away — and neither are any of us. Together there's much we can do to make our city and our state even better. Those ideas and principles are bigger than any one of us — bigger than any one election — and will continue to inspire us all.
Tyler and I feel blessed to have been on this journey with all of you. From the beginning, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our family, friends, and people we have met along the way. When we started this campaign, very few thought we had a chance. This close election is the result of all of you who took part in this campaign. All of you who went door-to-door in rain and heat; all of you who made financial contributions, all of you who put up yard signs or persuaded someone to go vote — this campaign would not have been possible without you. I will be forever grateful for your help and am excited to have built so many friendships along the way.
Finally, this election reminded us that every single vote matters, and that each one of us has the capacity to make a real difference in the future of our community. I can think of no greater victory.