We began our campaign for Governor over 18 months ago in my hometown of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Since then, I have been privileged to travel all across our beautiful state. I’ve had the unique honor of meeting Arkansans from all walks of life. I listened to their concerns and fears, and I heard their hopes and dreams for a better Arkansas. I was, and continue to be, lifted by their faith, hope, and hard work.
I offer my deepest appreciation to our campaign staff and to the people of Arkansas – and those across the country – who supported our campaign. So many of you devoted hours working hard for the promise of Arkansas. Your hard work humbled me. Thank you very much.
Words can not express how immensely grateful I am for my amazing wife, Jerrilyn. She has taken the road less traveled with me and never wavered regardless of how windy and rough the terrain. Without her and my girls, none of this would have been possible.
The math is clear and the results of the race are clear. I congratulate Governor-Elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders on her history-making election as the first woman elected governor of Arkansas. Our state was poised to make history no matter the results. Arkansas would either elect the first African American or the first female governor. History was made. Sarah’s election has shown women, including my little girls, that being a woman is no longer a barrier to becoming governor in our state.
While we disagreed on the issues, there is no denying Sarah’s love for Arkansas. I believe, as I have always believed, that we must come together for the sake of Arkansas. Sarah and her family will remain in our thoughts and prayers and I urge everyone to give her the chance to succeed and make Arkansas a better place for all.
I love Arkansas. As you know by now, I’m a 7th-generation Arkansan. We began this campaign with a message “about time”. This journey began with my ancestors who labored in the soil of rural Arkansas before Arkansas was even a state. It continued with my Paw-Paw Jesse Torrence who drove a truck to earn a living, and with my parents, my family, and my community in Pine Bluff who instilled in me the values of faith, hope, and hard work. Thanks to those lessons I went on to become a minister, a physicist, and a nuclear engineer. I learned that with the right amount of energy you can bend time. In the words of Dr. King, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” And so does time.
We made history in this campaign by winning the primary and running statewide. While we did not have enough energy to bend time as much as we wanted, our work most certainly bent time itself and brought Arkansas one step closer to the future.
I got into this race to create and spread opportunity to every corner of our state and to help improve the lives of every Arkansan. Election Day is over – and the work continues. Let us carry our civic participation past the ballots cast in this election cycle. Arkansas needs all of us at the table, working to lift each other up. Let us keep stepping and keep building the energy needed to bend time enough to reach The Promise of Arkansas (Freedom’s Promise).
Together, let’s resolve to lift up Arkansas – Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Libertarians – to lift up all Arkansans and recommit to freedom, justice, and democracy. Let’s recommit to showing up for each other, for our neighbors. Arkansas is worth it. Arkansans are worth it.