CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Sen. Tim Johnson Speaks in South Dakota
Aired November 6, 2002 - 10:52 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SEN. TIM JOHNSON (D), SOUTH DAKOTA SENATE CANDIDATE: Thank you for joining us here this afternoon. Last night, obviously, was a long evening. It was a long campaign but now the final results are in, the ballots are all counted, the precincts are all counted, and it's time for us as South Dakotans to come together and move our state forward on an agenda that incorporates all South Dakotans. I want to thank so many that did so much to make this campaign a success. Obviously our campaign staff, the volunteers, our supporters in that way, Chris Burkey (ph), who I think needs to be singled out as a volunteer, the kind of person who was the last one here last night, and the first one back this morning. That kind of help has meant so much, and it's part of the reason why we wound up with this success this morning.
I want to commend Congressman Thune and his family, his staff and his volunteers. I know that it's been a long and difficult campaign for them as well.
I also want to extend a congratulations and accommodation to our Secretary of State Joyce Hazeltine, as well as our Attorney General mark Barnett, who worked closely with both political parties and both political campaigns, and were part of an electoral system in South Dakota that worked extraordinarily well. And I think we can be proud as South Dakotans that every vote was counted, every vote was counted correctly, and that our electoral system is one that we can trust with pride in our state.
And I want to say thank you for the people of South Dakota as well, actually those who voted for me, and also those who voted for John, recognizing that we had a record high turnout, South Dakota is an example, I think, for the rest of the nation in terms of voter participation, and the people of people of South Dakota, I think can stand proud that they helped to make our democracy work here in our state, and is an example of what can happen when we have a very high level of turnout, I'm told in the 70 percent range, when a lot of other states, particularly in a non-presidential year, are lucky to have a 40 percent turnout. This is testimony to our citizenship and commitment to democracy that we have all across the state of California.
I'm pleased in the level of turnout and participation all across the state from east to west, to the Native American community, to those who are part of every other community in our state. I want to say thanks for the organizations who were so supportive of my campaign, the firefighters, the police, the teachers, the nurses, the -- so many who contributed in such a significant way and helped us move our campaign forward in a constructive, positive fashion.
We have great challenges ahead of us in South Dakota, we know that. We have a lame duck session coming up soon, where much of the federal budget needs to be resolved. I look forward as both a member of the Senate Energy Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Banking Committee and the Committee on Indian Affairs to representing all South Dakotans, Republicans, Democrats and independents, with the very best of my ability and the very best of my energy.
We know that South Dakota is a wonderful place, and Barbara and I are proud that our three children are fifth generation South Dakotans, but we know we need to do better in terms of funding our schools, in terms of creating higher wage jobs, in terms of getting a better return on our farms and ranches, in terms of creating an infrastructure that our state so badly needs in order for our economy to blossom. We know we need more affordable health care for all our citizens. We know our native community faces its own unique challenges, and we need to work with them in a close fashion.
BROWN: Tim Johnson in South Dakota, in Sioux Falls this morning. A very narrow victory. And they'll count them up again. But for now, he can claim that he beat a considerable tide. The state was awash in political ads for months.
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