I am thankful to have had your support, but...

Friends,

As we prepare to give thanks this week, let me tell you what I am thankful for: you.

Earlier this year, I embarked on a journey to grow my public service, to share my message of opportunity for all to an increasingly dysfunctional Congress. It was an optimistic decision that a single mother of three who, only six years ago, was jobless, facing the loss of her home and an uncertain future while three small children looked on. It was a voice that I thought would be beneficial in Washington.

Through the power of prayer, the faith of friends and community, the love of family and a determined spirit, I used that experience and nearly 25 years of experience advocating for women, children and families to give back to my community as a County Commissioner.

It is for that community, those friends, and my family that I have decided not to continue seeking the 18th Congressional District.

While we were the frontrunner in this race and I have no doubt we would have been successful, the cost to win would have been immense.

For six months, I have been a full-time Commissioner campaigning part-time. Changing circumstances in this race — a multimillionaire self-funded candidate – meant that I’d have to be a full-time candidate and a barely-part-time Commissioner.

That revelation is a game changer for me and is not a compromise I will make for my constituents. A public servant’s integrity and trust are the assets citizens care about most. I will always make decisions to retain my integrity and remain worthy of your trust.

I am so proud to have earned endorsements from so many leaders not only from District 18, but also from those within my County Commission district. These leaders recognized that no matter where my office was, I would have been a fighter for all people.  It was also an honor to receive the support from two of our nation’s largest representatives of America’s workers – the Teamsters and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

But, it was the support from individuals like you that inspired me. Thank you for placing your faith in me.

I look forward to continuing to work with you as your County Commissioner as we work to lift the lives of those who struggle, protect our environment, keep our kids safe, and enjoy my own children before they graduate from high school!

I wish each of you a blessed Thanksgiving and a peaceful holiday season,

- Melissa