To the Wonderful People of the 45th and Beyond,
After much thought, I have decided to withdraw from the House Delegate race in the 45th district.
I cannot possibly express the gratitude to my community, family and friends for their belief in me. The time, money and energy spent getting my campaign going was amazing. With the number of people prepared to endorse me, contribute to my campaign and work the streets, I am confident we could have won this thing.
For me, running for office is not about ego or moving up a political ladder; it is about helping my community, solving problems and building a stronger future for our kids. Right now, I have evaluated where my service can have the biggest impact and that is in my current position, with my current service commitments. For the good of my family and the Democratic Party, I am ending my campaign here. Therefore, Richmond must wait.
The Virginia Democratic Party has identified 17 high-priority, competitive districts in the Commonwealth. These races are in communities that voted for Hillary Clinton. This is outstanding. I have been asked to throw my support behind these democratic candidates and I urge you to do the same.
It is important for these candidates to be supported with energy from communities like ours. Because it is tough for these candidates to raise money against established Republican candidates, please give to these candidates’ campaigns or the Virginia Democratic Party.
Thank you so much for your support and for believing in me. Now, let’s focus all our energy on the communities we live in and the other 17 people trying to make a better Commonwealth for all.
Karen A. Graf