Saturday, June 2, 2012

Justin Oakley Drops Out of Superintendent of Public Instruction Race

Justin Oakley
Late word from Facebook tonight from Justin Oakley:

Good evening from Morgan County. 
THANK YOU and we'll see you again soon. 
Team Oakley has weighed a decision to move forward or gracefully bow out of the Democratic Convention to be nominated for State Superintendent. As many of you know, Justin campaigned for more than 7 months - hitting almost 30 counties and dozens of events. He has brought attention, excitement and critical energy to education issues and this race. We had over 400+ donors, over 2,000 folks on social media, and 150+ actively following us on Twitter. This campaign was the little engine that could for quite a while. 
In the end, it simply was not enough. The powers that be and the teacher's union chose to go with another candidate they felt was the better choice. Justin had to decide whether to challenge that and convince thousands of delegates at the Democratic convention to "buck" or go against that choice.

Justin has decided to take the high road and gracefully step aside for Glenda Ritz to be nominated at the convention on June 16th. This was no easy decision and his heart said seize the day, but his better half said live to fight another one. It's been an exhausting, and grueling seven months. A convention battle would have provided the media with divisive coverage only to fuel the campaigns of Pence/Bennett in November and cost $1,000's of dollars before the actual election! A war before the war so to speak. 
Justin is taking some much needed time to spend with family and friends, seeking guidance on where to go from here, and is going to walk away from this campaign as someone who tried as hard as he could with what he could when he could. He has already committed to working with some other candidates and has used some of the money raised to help in their campaigns and the campaign of Governor, John R. Gregg's. He will also weigh options for a future run, but nothing immediate at this time. 
WE ARE NOT DONE....We cannot be done. Educators in this state have to rally around the candidate for State Supt. in November and do whatever they can to support this candidate (Glenda Ritz). Justin said many time on the trail, “We have nothing to lose, but everything.” You have to keep fighting – this race isn’t over, it’s just with a different horse. 
Thanks to all of you who supported this endeavor. Justin could not have done this without YOU and it was no easy decision to stop. One Goliath is enough – the story didn’t include several at once! WE will leave the Facebook page up to help facilitate some education info and maybe even move on to a political blog or alternative page in the fall. The website will close at the end of this month.

Do not be mad or sad. This fight is NOT over. YOU just have to get behind a very capable person who will be out and about soon and will have the support and resources needed to take on Pence/Bennett machine (that is raising record money as we speak).
God bless all of you and we have nothing to be sad about.

We have one request – tell the Democratic Party and the Gregg campaign that Oakley should have a spot at the Convention to speak and to introduce Glenda Ritz. This is the least that they could do to a candidate who was courageous and walked the walk when there was no one else to do it! WE believe he has earned this small request.

Stay tuned. Stay engaged. Stay in faith.

WE have 5 months to regroup and build an army for November.
Justin will respond to any questions or comments in the future and plans on helping behind the scenes to "Beat Bennett" in November and work with multiple candidates seeking elections.

Behave courageously, and the Lord will be with the good
2 Chronicles 19:11 
Encourage one another and build each other up
1 Thessalonians 5:11 
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can! - John Wesley
Quite a bowing out statement, don't you think?  Sounds like the backrooms have given Democrats Glenda Ritz.  Shame to see Mr. Oakley go.  He fought hard and wanted the job.  Now, let's see if Ritz will work as hard as he did.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am Al Moore Decatur County Democratic Chair and member of the Board of the Greensburg Community School Corporation. I had the privilege of meeting Justin a number of times. He is an outstanding individual and a strong and dedicated campaigner. I support Justin's decision but hope that our party will encourage Justin to run for office again at a later date. There is no question that we can use his energy, enthusiasm, intelligence and dedication to advance the values we all hold dear. Thank you, Justin! For 2012 we have to make sure that Indiana restores our historic commitment to quality UNIVERSAL PUBLIC EDUCATION! Tony Bennett needs to go away.