Sen. Joe Kyrillos' quest to the U.S. Senate ended today, as he was handily defeated by Democratic incumbent Bob Menendez, according to unofficial results. About 150 people remained at the Nanina's in the Park banquet hall.
He thanked the 8,000 donors and 400 volunteers who helped get the vote out. He acknowledged that the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy hampered his campaign.
"We had the storm of the century and that made things a little harder," he said. Even though he was an undersdog, he raised a respectable $5 million. But he was still significantly outspent.
He said the media "didn't pay nearly as much attention...perhaps they didn't understand what our campaign was about."
He said the campaign was more abut the future trajectory of the country than about himself. "So tonight, we end this great effort. It's been a great privilege to be the nominee of my party." He said the federal government could learn from New Jersey's record of bipartisanship. He called on U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, for whom he left a message of congratulations, to help "rebuild New Jersey."
"It's time for Washington to come together. He also thanked his good friend, Gov. Chris Christie. "I want to thank him for being with us since the very beginning."
Kyrillos kicked off his campaign this past summer, using such slogans as "we can do better," in reference to Menendez. In his speech announcing his candidacy, Kyrillos described Menendez as "a mediocre senator," who is no "lion in the Senate," the nickname for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts).
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"It's incredible, it's a dream. I would never have imagined that I would be running for mayor, but to have Ken Gibson say that, I didn't expect it. Having Ken Gibson on my side is the ultimate reference check. It's the ultimate in street credibility. Mr. Gibson said it, when he was running for mayor, people said that they weren't ready, but Mr. Gibson said 'ready or not, here I come.' I think that's apropos for my campaign. Newark is ready for this." Newark Mayoral candidate Ras Baraka- PolitickerNJ.com
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