Chellie M Pingree

Victory Speech – Nov. 6, 2018

Chellie M Pingree
November 06, 2018— Portland, Maine
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Okay, let’s get this party started!

Well, I’m very excited and I'm very grateful to the voters of District 1 for giving me this honor tonight. I’m excited to be up here with two of my kids – my daughter Hannah, my daughter Cecily – who [unintelligible].

So let's just say – walking through polling places today was an amazing day. There were so many long lines, so many new voters waiting to be registered to vote, and we're likely to have a record turnout for a midterm election.

I just want to say, so many of you in this room have been knocking on doors, making those phone calls, donating to candidates. I'm really, really grateful to everyone here and everyone out there who has been doing that. The only reason I ever win is because of all of you.

So we all know what's at stake tonight and that this election actually is the most important election of our lifetime.

Even though it seems really late, this night is actually still a little bit early. We have so many more races to still find out about, particularly making sure we take control of the Blaine House, right here in [unintelligible].

But I already know these next two years are going have a lot of work ahead of us in the House of Representatives. Number one – we have to get back to work on the health care crisis. Gotta make sure everybody has health care coverage, because I believe it is a right for everyone in this country. We’ve got to make sure we protect that guarantee that says you can't be denied health care coverage for pre-existing conditions. We’ve got to ramp up the fight against the devastating opioid crisis and we have to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

That's just a start. We’ve got to fight for a fair economy and fix the student loan program, make sure we get down those costs.

We have to protect Social Security and Medicare. I think you know the Republicans have had a target on those vital programs because they see them as a way to fix the deficit that they have created by giving big tax cuts to the wealthy and big corporations. So we have our work cut out for us.

And maybe it's most important that we take on climate change and finally take it serious and say it’s real. Right here in the Gulf of Maine, the ocean is warming 95 percent faster than the rest of the world and it could have devastating consequences for our lobster fishermen, for fishing industries, for our coastal communities. It could virtually threaten our way of life and time is running out.

So I just want to say I think we can fix these problems. I really do believe we can. We’ve got to face them head-on. We’ve got to stick to our values. We have to work across the aisle now that we're going to be in the majority. We will extend the hand to the Republicans. I’ve been doing that for the last ten years but none have been more challenging than the past two, as you all know.

I think now that we know we're going to have a Democratic majority in the House, you're going to see my colleagues and my wonderful new colleagues – we've been electing incredible people across the country tonight. We’re going to have more women, more diversity, more Democratic party than we’ve ever had before.

And we’re going to work hard, we’re going to fight for those things we care about and we're going to get those things that we do agree with, the Democrats and Republicans, we're going to get everyone to work together and move forward on them.

So i just wanted you to know you can count on me. I am going to represent your values in Washington. I am going to be a check on the President. I am going to fight against the hateful rhetoric that’s become all too common in this country. And I'm going to make sure we show respect for all people, regardless of color or sexual orientation, age.

I just want to say, in these troubled times, we really have to be reminded that we are all in this together, that no one truly succeeds without lending a helping hand to our neighbors and that our country's greatness can only be equal to our kindness in our hearts.

Thank you. Keep partying, and we’ve just got to hope it’s going to be a really good night here in Maine. I know it’s going to be a good night in some other races across the country, and it’s about time we put some Democrats back in control. Thank you all.