Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bell drops from US Senate Race

From the Ford Bell Campaign:
July 11, 2006

I am announcing today that I am ending my campaign for the DFL nomination for U.S. Senate this year.

Our campaign has touched and energized thousands of Minnesotans, and I am grateful beyond words for the support that we have received. There is not a doubt in my mind that our message would carry the day in November against Mark Kennedy. But it has also become clear that our campaign will not be able to raise enough money to win the September primary.

We have run from the beginning as an outsider campaign, without the blessing of the Party establishment here and in Washington.

I have tried to talk clearly from the start until today about issues that are important to all Minnesotans: The need for a sane and progressive energy policy and farm policy. The need to start saving our planet. The need to recognize the human rights of every one in this country and the world.

More than any others, two issues have been at the center of our campaign, and they remain at the center of civic and political life in our country. The first is the war in Iraq. Our occupation and the continuing and escalating violence against our troops and among Iraqis is a spreading stain on our nation. We must demand a date for withdrawal. Our soldiers have won the war and deposed a brutal tyrant. American marines and GIs have stood guard while the Iraqis held their first elections in living memory. We must now insist that our civilian leadership honor the service and sacrifice of our troops by ending the occupation.

The second central issue is a solution to our broken health care system. That 45 million Americans, 12 million children are uninsured is a failure of imagination. That the government passed a fraudulent prescription drug bill is a failure of political will. That people all over America have to choose between insulin and heat is a failure of morality. The solution is single-payer insurance, Medicare for all. I will continue to advocate for it, and it will come, by and by, because there is no other solution.

Since I have been in this race, I have come to believe that there is another issue we must address: the need for public financing of elections. The corrosive influence of money is strangling American democracy. That our little outsider campaign raised almost a million dollars, stood for issues that the vast majority of our party endorsed, and couldn’t compete, is an indictment of the system we have. We must change it.

It has been an honor and a privilege to run for the U.S. Senate, but no one runs for office alone. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank my supporters, our volunteers and my incredible staff: Chris McCleary, Amanda Clausen, Clare Sorman, Michael Miller, Michael Lang, Chris Kirwan, Mark Gisleson, Nate Wyeth, Stephanie Shulman, Rob Nygaard and Andy Warren. And in particular, I thank David Lilly, who has been my campaign manager and, far more important, my friend.

My rock, before this race, during this race, and after this race, is my family. I want to thank them publicly in case I haven’t thanked them enough privately. In fact, there is no “enough.” My wife Amy, my children Mary, Jenny, Jamie and Emily, and my son-in-law Garrett Bradley, thank you all so much.

I will be supporting my opponent Amy Klobuchar in November, and I ask my supporters to do the same. The differences within our Party are important, but the differences between Mark Kennedy, George Bush and the needs of America are much greater.
I have spent my life in service to my community, my state and my country. I will continue to do so. I believe in what the great American Muhammad Ali once said: “The service you do for others is the rent you pay for the time you spend on earth.”
This campaign may end today, but what we believe in goes on, and we will all continue to cherish and work for our beliefs.

Thank you.

Ford W. Bell, DVM
612-874-1800 Office


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