In January we launched our campaign to fight for our children in NC because they deserve better; to fight for our families, teachers and taxpayers because the status quo has failed them. On May 8th our Tedesco 4 Kids Campaign finished first in a five-man race with nearly 200,000 votes. Tuesday night (7/17), we finished on top again by 8% percentage points (54%-46%, double our May 8th margin) to become the Republican Nominee for North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction in November. There are so many I wish to thank for our victory Tuesday. In big ways and small steps each of you made an impact. Thank you.
“Thank you” is simply not enough. Those words fall far short of my incredible gratitude for the support the voters showed me; words that cannot convey my heartfelt sincere appreciation for the efforts of so many volunteers and organizations across this great state. Knowing I could never thank everyone as they deserve, I still wish to take this opportunity to thank a handful of folks and organizations that went above and beyond. I pray anyone not specifically noted below will also accept our sincere gratitude. Additionally, I want to share with you some of our next steps as we prepare to take on long-time Democrat incumbent, June Atkinson in November.
One of the greatest joys of the campaign trail has been the opportunity to share my testimony with others and meet so many men and women of faith that renewed and refreshed me on the journey.
My Wife and Family
Next, I have to thank my beautiful wife, Jennifer. She is an amazing strong woman with love and compassion who stood by my side every step of this journey in every way possible. On top of being a great wife and amazing mom, while working hard at her fulltime job she used her evenings and weekends working the campaign non-stop. If you haven’t seen how much I love this girl check out our little “Peas & Carrots” Video – it’s cute – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX2pHXfBmUM She is my biggest fan, and I want her to know that I am hers!
Additionally, my family here in Wake, over in Mecklenburg and outside of NC have been more than supportive and encouraging. I am blessed to have you all. Some of our dearest friends, and neighbors, David and Helen Snipes, not only helped in multiple campaign efforts, but even helped here around our house for us. I definitely owe David a couple of grass cuts. Thank you both very much.
Our All Volunteer Tedesco 4 Kids Campaign Team
Our team worked so many hours and I could never thank them enough. I am eternally grateful. Thank you to our Campaign Coordinator, Andy Jackson – Volunteer Coordinator, Kim Grande – Multi-Media Director, Randy Bryant – Campaign Administrator, Debra Mills.
Regional Coordinators: Kathy and Steve Yost, Jim Isley and Maria Barringer, Robert Watkins, Rex Wood
Social Media Team: Dave Weikert, Kenny Hitt, Cheri Hitt, Wendy Wood, Matt Reck, Graham Dean
Elected Officials and Other Candidates
Many fellow elected officials, other candidates and former candidates helped in many ways. I thank you all. A few went above and beyond personally working phones, sending emails, speaking at meetings and more. A special thank you to Kaye McGarry in Mecklenberg (CMS), Lisa Baldwin with Buncombe School Board, and Tony Rose with Alamance School Board. Additionally, Buddy Collins, Jeannie Metcalf, Paul Daniels, Don Hayes, Rhonda Lennon and other fellow school board officials across NC.
Thank you to former NC GOP Chairman and Raleigh Mayor, Tom Fezter; House Majority Leader, Paul “Skip” Stam; former Sec. of State Candidates Mike Beitler and AJ Doud. Former Lt. Gov. Candidate Arthur Rich; Dr. Dan Eichenbaum and many others.
Additionally, I look forward to continuing the journey with my other Council of State nominees. I have been appreciative of your support and that of many of your supporters through this process. It has been a privilege to get to know each of you and your families better. The Wednesday N&O article noted this will be a stronger GOP Down Ballot ticket – I agree.
Numerous organizations and clubs endorsed our campaign, I thank you all. Some groups went well above and beyond an endorsement as they worked polls, advertised in local papers and handed out materials at community events. Specifically, I would like to thank I-Caucus and all the NC affiliate groups, Tea for Education, OBX and Crystal Coast Tea, Moore Tea, and the great folks at C4GC in Guilford.
I also want to thank the Wake GOP. While not endorsing in Republican primaries; they made calls, send emails, and reminded thousands of this second primary. All of your hard work brought out thousands more to the polls.
We entered this race with 5 good conservative candidates. Each brought much to the campaign trail and several ideas that I will champion as we press forward. David Scholl, Ray Martin, Rick Alexander, and Mark Crawford ran hard, invested in a commitment to improving our schools. These men sacrificed time from their families and their livelihoods in an effort to call for a better education system in NC. I commend you all. I have enjoyed getting to know you better and hope you continue to be a champion for our children.
The many faces behind the scenes
Each little action from hundreds of you made this happen: the donations, the shared posts on Facebook, the Tweets, the phone calls, the recommendations to friends, putting out a sign, and more. Thank you all.
Wednesday I crashed and turned off the world: exhausted with only the desire to share my appreciation for all of you. We will try to rest just a few days, but we still need to begin preparing now. I am back on the trail Monday in my first forum with my opponent at the NC Charter Schools Conference. November will be here fast.
Without a primary my opponent, Ms. Atkinson, has been ready, rested, and well funded. Our opponent has been at the Department of Public Instruction since 1976 and is running for her third term as Superintendent. She is an insider with all the connections to the establishment that will be fighting to hold onto power and the status quo. She has built-in special interests groups and starts off with a quarter-million dollars with state tax-payer money through public financing to fund her campaign.
We exhausted all of our resources with the second primary, signs, materials, and dollars, thus we need to expand significantly and quickly to organize, fundraise, and outreach. We need to begin now asking for new volunteers and donations. So if you can help with time, talent or treasure then please visit www.Tedesco4kids.com today.
What to expect & what I expect
Expect a bumpy ride. When pushing for change in education any opposition to a status quo liberal agenda is met with vicious attacks from every angle. While attacking they will use the “for the children” mantra as a shield. In the upcoming campaign I expect to be slashed with a thousand cuts, lies, smears, and more; all from outside interest groups and a small number of elitists with personal agendas. They will call me every name you can think, will twist and distort every sentence I say, and attempt to use every minor mistake I ever made (from a parking ticket to a detention I received once in middle school). They will use blogs, new media and more. We saw a taste of it in the recent run-off.
I have seen it and I expect it to get worse for November. Here is a sample video of how they attacked me with extreme claims that the sky will fall and the city of Raleigh will sink. This was one of the nicest think they said about me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsI1oUGJTic
CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, and many more have all said much worse because I was an unwavering Christian conservative standing for the courage of my convictions.
Even though a lie can get half way around the world before the truth can get on its shoes, I will not sink to their level. I expect you will all agree and stand for a clean campaign.
We have a lot to focus on such as a proven track record of positive results and a bold vision to improve our schools. We have seen a long history where they have fallen short in our schools and for our children.
We can and will stick to the issues. Please help me run a positive campaign focused on the issues no matter what madness they come out with. See our commercial, “It is not too late“: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHggae0M79w
Ready, Set, Go –
Again, I thank you all. Keep our family in your prayers. You have all worked hard. I pray you get some rest and then quickly join me in this fight because our children deserve better and the future of our state depends on it.