You were my guy. I liked your stuff — even your Osama mail. You ran a great, clean race. But you’ve lost. I know you don’t think you have, but you have.
Mr. Black is going to need all the help he can get to pick off Mr. Irvin. He’s going to need time, talent, and treasure that he will not have if you stay in a runoff. I frankly don’t think you can win. Everyone of your supporters really thought you had it in the bag. The last polls — though they were Insider Advantage — had you ahead of everyone. But you weren’t.
In the runoff, the base that did not show up for you, but showed up for Mr. Black, is going to return. This time, I’ll be in Mr. Black’s camp.
I think it is true that Farm Bureau helped Mr. Black. And that might not have been fair, and Mr. Black may have been a Democrat (some of your supporters have alleged that), but he’s a Republican now. And he has a base of people willing to turn out for him — and who will turn out for him. You can rest assured that the Farm Bureau grassroots are more reliable than Mr. Reed’s.
So Mr. Kemp, it’s time. Please take one for the team. Things did not go as you or I would have liked. But that’s life. We’re both Republicans. We need to put the party ahead of what we wanted. We need to give Mr. Black the fighting edge he’ll need to be competitive against Tommy Irvin.
Mr. Kemp, please concede.