Kensington, MD — Today Chris Van Hollen made remarks after winning the Maryland U.S. Senate Race. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
“Good evening Maryland! And what a beautiful evening it is here in the state of Maryland! I am very happy to say that I will accept the results of this election in Maryland.
“I want to thank Delegate Szeliga, the Republican candidate in the campaign. Let’s give her a round of applause. I just received a call from her congratulating us on this victory, and I want to commend her on putting her ideas and platform forward. I also want to congratulate Dr. Flowers for the ideas she brought to this campaign. Most of all, I want to thank you and the people across this great state for the confidence that they have placed in me; I am truly humbled, and it is time for all of us to get to work. Are you ready to get to work tonight?
“I am very blessed to be here this evening with my wonderful family. My wife Katherine, who is the love of my life and the person who has taken this family on this journey together — I’d like to thank her and our wonderful children: Anna, Nick, and Alex. And to my sisters, and in-laws, and cousins — and I can tell you we have enough cousins in the city of Baltimore to form a precinct. They have reminded me that the Van Hollen family from way back was from the City of Baltimore.
“Most of all, I really want to thank all of you who are part of our extended family. When I look across this state — and I have traveled to every nook and cranny of this state — you have all been there with me. And I want to thank you for uniting behind the common purpose of trying to make sure that every Marylander and every American is treated with dignity, and is treated with respect, and has the opportunity to have a fair shake in the United States of America.
“That’s what brings this extended family in this room together tonight. I want to thank our Campaign Chair Yvette Lewis, who opened us up this evening. Thank you, Yvette Lewis. We are here in Montgomery County, and I want to give a big salute to our terrific County Executive Ike Leggett. To our neighboring County Executive Rushern Baker, who is with us this evening as well — let’s give him a big round of applause. County Executive Kamenetz from Baltimore County. Thank all of the local elected officials who are here. We are also joined by our terrific Attorney General Brian Frosh. Let’s give it up for Brian.
“Peter Franchot is here as well — Peter, thank you. And I want to say to my dear friends in the Congressional Delegation — first of all, to Steny Hoyer, I don’t know where Steny is, but in addition to being an incredible Representative for his district, has made us proud throughout the state of Maryland and throughout the United States of America for his leadership. Steny Hoyer, thank you for everything you have been doing, for trying to bring common sense to the Capitol.
“We also have here another terrific Member, John Sarbanes, who represents part of Montgomery County, who has been fighting to get money out of politics. Thank you John Sarbanes for your leadership. We also have from Baltimore County, Dutch Ruppersberger. Where’s Dutch Ruppersberger? I want to thank him for his leadership — coming over to see us. I look forward to working with you. And of course, tonight we welcome two terrific new members of the United States Congress, Anthony Brown and Jamie Raskin.
“I also just got a call from my good friend Elijah Cummings, and I want to thank him for being the tip of the spear in so many important matters for our country. Thank you. Our friend Ben is in the house—Senator Cardin, thank you for your leadership. I look forward to working with you in the United States Senate. Ben Cardin, let’s give it up to a great Senator.
“I also want to give a great shout out to a great Marylander and a great American, a great pioneer in American politics, Barbara Mikulski. We were with Barbara Mikulski last night. She was bringing down the house. We were with Barbara Mikulski in the markets of Baltimore the day before. Even before the last Star Wars movie came out, I said that when Barbara Mikulski is with you, the Force is with you, and I’m proud to have her support and to have her by my side during this campaign.
“I also want to say, first of all, to the terrific volunteers and the team, the staff we had on the Van Hollen for Senate Campaign, thank you, thank you, thank you. They worked day-in and day-out, hour after hour, day after day, making the phone calls. And then they were joined by the Coordinated Campaign. Bruce Poole, thank you for your leadership in the Maryland Democratic Party. And it was Team Democrats in Maryland. We got the word out and we made the phone calls. But at the end of the day — at the end of the day, the propellant for change, the propellant for change are all of you in this room and the voters across the state who decided to be force multipliers. The people who said we’ve got to take our democracy seriously, we’ve got to roll up our sleeves, and we have to get to work.
“If you look at change in America, it always comes from the grassroots up. All the major social and political movements have been driven by the people in this room, and the people who went before you. People who worked to build a more perfect union. People who worked to move and bend the arc toward justice.
“That is all of you. If you look at the women’s rights movement, if you look at the civil rights movement, and the LGBT movement, or any of the great movements that make change in America — it started with grassroots activists like everybody here in this room. So I want to thank you for making me your partner in change in the United States Senate.
“And together, we know we have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of work to do to make sure that every child in every neighborhood in this state gets an education that we would want for each of our children. We have to make sure that it is a moral imperative in the state of Maryland, and around the country. We’ve got to build the economy, an economy that works for all of us and not just for folks at the very top. We need to make sure we end the scandal of mass incarceration and the scourge of gun violence in America.
“And we must protect our beautiful Chesapeake Bay and confront climate change now. It is an opportunity for our country to perform in clean energy areas. And my goodness, we have to get big and secret money out of politics once and for all.
“We can do these things together. We can do these things together, but we also need to recognize that this election has been different than other elections, because it’s not just a matter of differences in policies and party platforms. In this election, we have had the character of America at stake.
“And so I am really confident that by the end of tonight — and I hear some returns coming in — but I know that by the end of the night, that we will make sure that across America — that hope will triumph over fear in the United States of America. That optimism will triumph over cynicism in the United States of America. That civility will triumph over insult in the United States of America. That love will trump hate in the United States of America. And that unity will triumph over division in the United States of America.
“I just want to close by saying that all of us in Maryland need to do our part. We need to do our part as Americans in bringing the country together. You know, Maryland is called America in Miniature. It’s called America in Miniature because of our demographic diversity and our geographic diversity. From the great City of Baltimore to the Washington suburbs, from the mountains of Western Maryland to Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, we are a microcosm of our country. And I look forward to working with each and every one of you to bring Marylanders together, as we bring Americans together. Because we’ve got a whole lot of work to do.
“I will end with what everybody knows is one of my favorite sayings, which is that the world needs dreamers, and the world needs doers. But most of all, the world needs dreamers who do. Let’s be dreamers and doers together.”