Why Run Again, After Defeat?

December 21, 2015

Everyone knows the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

But how many of us internalize the meaning? Does it mean try once or twice then give up? Do professional athletes give up when faced with insurmountable odds?

Just this past weekend we witnessed the undefeated Carolina Panthers enter the second half of a game with a 28-point lead. They were a shoe-in. They already won. People were LEAVING the stadium to do Christmas shopping.

Then the impossible and unlikely happened. The New York Giants scored an incredible 28 points to TIE the game in the last minutes. This was the first time in 35 years they had achieved that goal. Except for some missteps at the very end, this could have been the end of an undefeated season, one for the record books regardless.

But the Panthers then fought back and ground out a position where a field goal was possible, but not guaranteed. BOTH teams and sets of fans watched anticipating the outcome. The Panthers held on and won the game at the last second. The very last second on the clock.

Politics and the relationships forged are a lot like sports. Our teams battle it out. Individuals on the field attempt to shine and get their message across. Hot dog players often feel they are above scrutiny, because they are so good. In the case of my opponent from 2012 and 2014, he assumed a lot. Now he has a primary challenger as well as the general election against me again if he survives. And I won’t make it easy for him. I achieved around 15% of the vote my first time out in a district where the Democrats were holding their national convention. The next time I nearly garnered 20% of the vote. In a district weighted 85% against me, that means I am getting votes from members of the opposing party and unaffiliated voters, perhaps fed up with business as usual.

Anything can happen. I am in this for the long haul. This is not a hobby. Something you do for fun. Believe me, and anyone else who ever ran for office, the work is hard, the hours are long, there is strain on every part of your life, there is literally no reward, and in the end you rely on strangers who can propel your ideas into office or stop you cold.

Election day is uplifting or a hard slap down. Either way, the nation continues as does our state. We need to uplift this city and state, and we need to do it now as never before. I believe I have the abilities necessary to help in that regard.

A man I like to reference once ran for the state house in his state years ago and lost. The same year he lost his job. He tried to start a business and failed. His fiancé died. Then he had a nervous breakdown. Then, when finally elected to the statehouse he was defeated for the Speakership. Later, he was defeated in his bid for Congress, finally elected, then lost renomination, and was defeated. He was defeated for land officer, defeated for a US Senate bid, defeated for nomination as Vice President, then AGAIN defeated for the US Senate. For 30 years this failure must have been the laughing stock of his state and nation. WHO would put themselves through that and for what purpose?

I believe sometimes we are called to tasks which seem impossible, and we throw up our hands when we should get to work and quietly try again.

So when people innocently ask, and sometimes condescendingly, “Why are you running again?”, or they say, “You can’t win!” - I have to tell them about someone I admire who never gave up. But maybe it would be better if I related some words of this historic loser, this ridiculous nobody who everyone dismissed for several decades, to give you a better perspective on why anyone should keep working hard against the odds. Sometimes there is a reason to pursue the goal.

In a momentous time he penned then spoke these words:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” ­– Abraham Lincoln

It is why we should always try again. I will work for your vote.

It is why I am a Republican. I need votes from every group to win.

And it is why I am running…again.

Together, we can put Charlotte and this state, back to work.

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Translate This Page

English French German Haitian Creole Hindi Italian Korean Portuguese Russian Spanish

Share It Socially:

Tell your friends:




Donation Rules

  • DONATIONS will be accepted shortly. Please check back soon.
  • Personal donations are limited to $4,000 per election as are any PAC contributions.
  • NO direct candidate donations can be accepted from corporations or unions in North Carolina.
  • Cash contributions are limited to $50 and there can be NO anonymous contributions.


One can decide to regress or move ahead. I choose to progress, but without a valid direction, support and guidance from experienced leadership like mine, we risk more bureaucracy and less freedom in our daily lives.
- Richard Rivette