Well, this has certainly been a hard fought campaign but I cannot be happier about the outcome of this election - the first step towards going to Washington, DC this November to clean up Congress and help Democrats take control of the House of Representatives.
There are so many people I would like to thank but first and foremost, I would like to thank my wife Adrienne and my daughter, Tara - not just for standing with me during this election but for all the support they have given me over the past twenty years.
Governor Corzine, Governor Codey, Senator Kenny, Congressmen Rothman, Andrews, Payne and Pascrell and the many elected officials, labor leaders and community activists throughout Hudson, Union, Essex and Middlesex Counties and the rest of the state who helped me so tremendously during the past several years.
The many people who worked on my campaign and especially the volunteers who came in every single day to stuff envelopes, walk door to door and make phone calls.
I thank you.
My friends, tonight is the first day of an epic journey - not just for me, but for the people of the 13th Congressional District and the state as a whole.
Yes, I will be going to Washington this November but next January, I will be joined by many new members of Congress - members who will be part of a new Democratic majority that will take this country back from those who have put Wall Street ahead of Main Street, put executive wages ahead of the minimum wage, put nonsense over common sense and put our nation's soldiers in harm's way based on false information and false ideology.
The tasks that face our nation are great:
We must end this war of choice in Iraq and bring back our troops as soon as possible - so that one more soldier does not die in a war based on false ideology, false intelligence and false promises.
We must reform the No Child Left Behind law so that schools get more support and no children - regardless of income or race - really are left behind.
We must provide tax breaks to the middle class - not to the wealthiest one percent who don't need them.
We must provide greater access to health care - for children, for seniors, and for working families.
Most importantly, we must protect our homeland and the areas that need it most.
The residents of this district saw airplanes take off from Newark Airport and slam into the World Trade Center less than five short years ago.
This district is home to tunnels, chemical facilities, ports and airports that are among the greatest targets for another terrorist attack.
And yet, last week, this Administration gave homeland security dollars to places like northwestern Alaska - while leaving our region woefully shortchanged.
This Administration cares more about helping itself - instead of helping regular people.
THAT is why I am going to Congress and THAT is why I thank you tonight for your support:
For giving me the opportunity to work on your behalf in Washington.
For giving me the opportunity to continue helping my community - which has given me so much in return.
For giving me the opportunity to be a part of turning this country around and making sure that the interests of every single resident in this district are represented.
It is an honor and a privilege to accept this opportunity and one that I am truly humbled to accept on behalf of all the residents of this district.