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07 November 2008

John Stone Planning Another Run For Congress In 2010

With 95% of precincts reporting in Georgia's 12th congressional district, Democrat John Barrow holds a nearly 80,000 vote lead over his Republican opponent, John Stone.

In short, Stone lost and Barrow won.

Despite his recent defeat though, John Stone is planning to make another run for Congress in 2010.

In a letter to supporters, Stone laid most of the blame for his loss Tuesday on the Republican Party saying that, "Had we enjoyed minimal - even just strong verbal - support from the National Republican Congressional Committee and key Republican leaders I believe the outcome of this race would be very different."

"I will say this now - it is time to sweep the decks clean at NRCC with new leadership that will re-establish the Republican Party on Reagan principles, and with senior staff that are not politically incompetent," Stone's letter read.

The 12th district Republican also blamed his defeat on ballot stuffing by the Democrats.

So John Barrow may be looking at a re-match between him and John Stone. Of course, that is all dependent on Stone winning the Republican nomination two years from now.

Below is the full text of John Stone's letter to his supporters:

Dear Friends,

First, I encourage each of you to offer a prayer of thanksgiving right now for this year's safe election. We just went through a grueling, year-long campaign, with two contested primaries. Every candidate, their staff, and supporters - me, John Barrow, Regina Thomas, Ray McKinney, and Ben Crystal - came through without major injury or calamity. Thanks to the Lord for keeping everyone safe, as we prayed for throughout this contest. With five candidates driving 22 counties loaded with deer, logging trucks, and two-lane roads, this is truly a lot to be thankful for, and no small miracle.

Through no fault of yours, we came up short last night. I want to thank each and every one of you for all your contributions, sacrifices, and hard work you put into this effort. Had we enjoyed minimal - even just strong verbal - support from the National Republican Congressional Committee and key Republican leaders I believe the outcome of this race would be very different. I will let you know "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say, on this race in the immediate future.

But I will say this now - it is time to sweep the decks clean at NRCC with new leadership that will re-establish the Republican Party on Reagan principles, and with senior staff that are not politically incompetent.

It is important that we analyze yesterday's results with absolute clarity to determine how to win back this seat in 2010. Over the next few days, we will do just that, and let you all know what we find. Right now, we are looking at an impossibly large Democratic turnout in counties that had been heavily Republican as a primary cause of our failure this year. 218,000 people voted during the 2004 Presidential Election in our district; more than 249,000 voted yesterday, and apparently 30,000 of the additional 31,000 ballots were stuffed in the box by Democrats.

But I believe the number one cause was my personal failure to raise adequate funding, and for that I apologize to all of you. Our friend Max Burns raised $2 million for this race in 2004; I raised around $400,000 this year. John Barrow had $2.2 million, plus that $150,000 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for pure media during the last five days of the campaign. I will write again this week with more details on our race for planning purposes, but it's time to look to the future.

Our 2010 John Stone for Congress campaign is underway this morning.

Over the last year, we have built an extraordinary team of staff, volunteers, supporters, and physical resources across all 22 counties of our district. I firmly believe had we begun our campaign in July 2007 instead of November, we would have won this race in spite of the obstacles. We got it all together, just not quite in time to win.

We're not going to let that progress slip away.

Last night, rather than a concession speech, I announced my 2010 candidacy for US House of Representatives. I hope you will join us again in the "second half" of our fight to win back our seat from John Barrow's special interests.

This is still a great day to be an American, in spite of last night's disheartening results. Over the last few years, I have come to know that regardless of what happens on election night, come Wednesday morning we can always count on the sun and gas prices to come up again.

But for right now, it is halftime. Lets all use the break to put politics aside for the Thanksgiving season, rest up, and spend some time with our families. But the second-half whistle blows in 2009, so don't put the shoulder pads away.

Deborah and I started this race in prayer that the Lord's will be done, and for us to just be instruments in His plan. We agreed back last November that we would follow whatever direction He chose for us, win or lose. I have absolute trust that the outcome of our race - and that of the Presidential and other federal elections - is squarely in God's plan for each of us and this world, even if we
can't see it right now.

From the bottom of my heart and from Deborah, thank you all for giving me the highest honor and privilege in my life in having been your candidate for Congress for our great "Original Georgia".

God Bless each of you and your families, and may God Bless and restore our nation,

John