Running to Win: I Ran, You Won

9,642 votes translated into 3.01 percent of the vote on Tuesday. It was a far fewer count of votes than we worked for but significant for many reasons.

9,642 votes translated into 3.01 percent of the vote on Tuesday.  It was a far fewer count of votes than we worked for but significant for many reasons.  On a larger scale, you won. 

Here are your top 10 campaign wins:

  1. You garnered the most votes for an independent congressional candidate in all of Virginia
  2. You raised the most money among all independent U.S. House campaigns in Virginia
  3. You gave us the credibility to receive donations from nearly 100 friends and neighbors
  4. You gave us over 1,800 signatures for the State Board of Elections ensuring ballot access
  5. You made us the featured subject of 11 press articles
  6. You generated and we accepted invitations to attend 15 candidate forums
  7. You helped us recruit over 60 volunteers
  8. You helped us maintain a debt-free campaign 
  9. You helped us keep our focus on the issues that matter
  10. You gave your neighbors someone to vote for rather than just against



Thank you for allowing my wife Jennifer and me to serve you these past 14 months.  While we’re on the subject, I will thank my wife publically for not just being a spouse but the most important surrogate for our campaign.  I remember one Saturday at the Falls Church Farmers Market, looking over as she “manned” the parking lot while I stood across the street.  She was so relaxed, sharing the message of our campaign with a couple of your neighbors.  I could see them nodding in agreement and willingly receiving one of our trusty 4x8 campaign postcards.  Thank you dear wife, for making this campaign possible and authorizing this campaign, in the first place. 

To the many people who volunteered, donated, prayed and even those who sent “tweets” of encouragement now and again –thank you.  Our campaign was just that –ours.  We were not experienced politicos, typical campaign donors or members of a political party.  Nearly every one of you had regular jobs and limited resources.  What you contributed you took out of your ever fleeting free time and seemingly fixed income.  Thank you.  We were merely citizens who thought the world could be a better place (and we still do).  As card carrying members of “We the people...” we knew we could do better and we did. 

To the members of the local press I offer you my utmost thanks.  You dealt me a fair hand, especially in the corporate environment of your industry.  The deregulation of the media and communications industry by the 1996 Telecommunications Act, ensured that the mission of sharing the news with the public would become a streamlined, corporate exercise.  Now all that is new and different – from music to TV, to politics – is typically substituted for the trite and tired.  The 1996 Act is one reason we have extreme media channels pandering either to “liberals” or “conservatives,” and it is also why changing the radio station sometimes lands you on the same song you were trying to avoid.  This is one of many pieces of legislation for which Mr. Moran voted, leaving us the consequences of media consolidation and partisanship.  To the reporters who courageously covered our independent campaign story, thank you. 


After the campaign I was left with a numb feeling; and not just from my feet and back.  There was a sense of what now?  Our campaign was prefaced on the assumption that the only way to factually reduce partisanship - and impact not just an election but the direction of our country – was to elect an independent to the U.S. Congress.  All of you did your part by voting your conscience.  I take responsibility for not getting, oh, just a few more neighbors to join us. 

Even with the makeup of the legislative and executive branches remaining exactly the same, there are some things you can do to influence progress: 

  1. Write your representatives in Congress: Jim Moran, Tim Kaine, and Mark Warner.  Let them know you are paying attention and that you have ideas that matter
  2. Stay connected to our campaign themes.  Our economy was not saved on Election Day so our mission persists.  My wife Jennifer and I have some decisions to make but we will remain engaged.  Stay with us.  My email address has not changed:  Jason@VoteJasonHowell.com
  3. Talk politics.  Somewhere along the line politics became taboo and we systematically disengaged.  The next 12 months are crucial for our country; please stay engaged.


It has been my pleasure to serve you this year.  In campaigns, you do begin serving before you are elected.  In 2013, I choose to continue this brand of unelected service with you.  After all, we are the stewards of this exceptional country. 

We can do better, we must do better and with your attention all year long, we will do better. 

An easy way to stay connected is to follow Facebook.com/VoteJasonHowell

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kelly Salvo November 09, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I would like to extend thanks to everyone who assisted with our campaign, whether volunteers, contributors, voters and the public who listened to our message. Together, we brought ideas that we believe in to light, and showed this area as well as influenced some of the country on what it could be like to take the disrespect, anger and mudslinging out of politics. We ran an exhausting, exhilarating, honest campaign maintaining our stance of respect and loyalty to the taxpayer, competition and each other. Jason, Brian and Jenn’s leadership made following easy; their enthusiasm kept us going, even through really some long days and nights. We took a handful of volunteers, assigned a few key leaders with no political experience and showed our beloved Nation that there are options to choose from. We showed that you don’t have to follow strict party dogma to be a good voter or great American. I maintain that we still have the best option for our Congressman, which is a beautiful feeling – our option for the taxpayers broke barriers: political parties, age, gender, and social status being a few.
Kelly Salvo November 09, 2012 at 03:12 PM
We maintained our values by showing a campaign built on respect and responsibility. I spoke to hundreds of people promoting our message. Staunch party supporters ASKED me for information on our campaign, intrigued by both Jason and the way our team members spoke of him. Not once did our campaign use mudslinging as a tactical advantage, my only prerequisite for getting involved. I’m proud of Jason, our team and I am proud of myself. We stood up for something we believe in, gave it a shot and accomplished a lot. We took it a lot further than others have. We may have not won this election, but we won so much more in the process getting here. Thank you.
Ed Reinfurt November 14, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Jason, this is just the first phase. The hard part is name recognition which unfortunately for many voters is a requirement to earn their vote. We now have less than two years until the next election. I look forward to your next planning session to determine your strategic way ahead. There is no rest for the weary!


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