Bartle: Disappointed, excited, thankful after loss


Running for office is an experience wrought with many emotions. The morning after losing in my bid to represent you in the Arizona Senate, here are mine:

I’m relieved. Running for office is very taxing, and a lot of negative energy accompanies the experience. I’m certain serving would yield much more of the same.

I’m disappointed. I would have enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the political process, part of the solution.

I’m competitive; I hate to lose. And as Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos can attest, getting walloped in the big game adds a little “salt” to that wound.

I would have really enjoyed competing against Democrat Jo Holt. We would have shown our constituents and all Arizonans that two political candidates can have different ideas and values, yet debate the issues in an honorable and respectful manner.

And I’m disappointed I was not able to provide a positive return on the investment so many people made in our campaign and me.

I’m excited. There are many upcoming meetings and events I get to delete from my calendar! I’m excited to spend time with my family and friends, pay better attention to my health, and to roll up my sleeves and provide great service to’s clients. Plus, the door remains open for me to take the sabbatical that has evaded me for 20 years.

I’m confident. Five percent of the district’s population elected my opponent. I’m confident the vast majority of residents in Legislative District 11 would prefer – and be better served by – me representing them in the Legislature. Unfortunately, the majority of constituents don’t determine elections. The majority of registered voters don’t even matter. It’s only the majority of the people who actually cast a ballot.

I’m sad. I’m sad for our district and our state. There were a lot of conservative – yet pragmatic – Republicans running who would have collectively changed the tenor at the Capitol. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

I’m frustrated. This campaign (and many others) validates the merits of negative campaigning. There are many very capable and honest candidates and prospective candidates who would like to compete based on the merits of the people and their stances on important issues. Those folks will remain at a significant disadvantage – and in most cases opt to not even run – as long as the electorate responds so favorably to mudslinging.

I’m proud. I was told if my opponent could not find “dirt” on me, he’d make it up. I’m proud I’ve led a life that forced him to do just that.

I said at the onset I would run a clean, honorable campaign – even if it meant losing. That’s what I did – on both accounts. 🙂

In 2010 I ran for the school board because I felt it was critically important to our community that we upgrade the leadership at our district, and I felt the same about our representation in LD 11. I’m proud I “put my money where my mouth is” and gave it a shot.

I’m humbled. While the election results may suggest otherwise, we had a ton of support for our campaign. I’m very humbled by the confidence and help of so many people, many of whom I’d never met before the commencement of our campaign.

I’m thankful. I learned the negative perception the public has of politicians and the political process is well earned. I also got to know some very selfless, smart and hardworking people committed to the success of our great state. I am very thankful for the many relationships I’ve developed along the campaign trail.