I have been at a loss for words the last week (and not just due to being sick) regarding Tuesday’s election. At about 7½ percent, the Republican primary turnout was almost as low as two years ago. Our margins reported at the polls were starkly different from the reactions of voters our campaign reached out to by phone and on the ground, but they reflected the ratio we were outspent.
The kind notes that have come my way remind me that no candidate can ask for a better group of supporters than we have had on this campaign. The level of dedication, hard work, and sacrifice — the amount of sheer heart you have shown — speaks volumes. Just a few examples are the petition carriers we had overcoming great physical challenges (in one case, chemotherapy) to collect pages of signatures; the many volunteers who awoke at the crack of dawn to come to train stations; and those who took time off from work to cover more territory going door to door when we were short-staffed.
They helped on principle out of love for our country and with no expectation of a job or other form of self-enrichment.
What makes this election difficult for me is the realization of all the past or would-be supporters who were not with us for reasons no one should have to face in America. The freedom to speak, assemble, and support the candidate of one’s choice should be considered inviolate. A great price was paid to protect those freedoms. The many who would not exercise those rights out of fear made what became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Defeat was never inevitable, but fear and cynicism have a way of making the possible seem impossible. Perhaps that is the broader meaning of “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.
I first ran for this seat five years ago — and that was over 20 years after I first got involved in politics as a conservative Republican. It was too much to expect county leaders of my own party ever to give me a chance rather than repeatedly doing all they could to undermine me, even down to absurdly telling people that I was a member of the opposing party. This reaction to what most would consider the service of stepping up to give back to the community many of you described as an eye-opener about the realities of local politics. I hoped that with enough hard work, others would be moved to stand with me openly. Those brave souls who did have my eternal gratitude, and I am honored to have known them. The amount of time and effort our supporters put into this and prior campaigns is staggering. You should know that I did my best.
In my own endeavors to give Nassau County Republicans and Conservatives a choice for Congress, I never lost what is most important: my soul. I want all of you who have supported me to know that whatever your efforts have done to increase my ability to reach people, I consider it a precious gift that I will continue to use for good. This is why we fight: We care about our community; we understand the meaning of citizenship; we uphold the Constitution that is so essential to protecting our freedom; and we love this country. This is still our country . . . if we the people are willing to reclaim it. Please do not lose heart. I believe President Reagan was right when he said the following words now etched on his grave: “I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph.
And there’s purpose and worth to each and every life.”
I will always believe in our future. And I will always be Frank!
Thank you again for believing, and for putting your belief into action!
— Frank Scaturro
(Editor’s note: Frank Scaturro sought the Republican nomination in the June 24 primaries for New York’s 4th Congressional District.)