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THANK YOU, PHOENIX

I cannot tell you how much it means to have so many people who have not only been supporters in this campaign, but close friends who inspire and encourage me every day.

I want to recognize a few people who made this campaign possible.

First, I absolutely would not be here without the love and support of my best friend and partner, Wendy. She has been my rock and my biggest supporter, and I cannot thank her enough for everything she has done for our family, community, and to support me in this race.

To my kids, I love you guys. You are my greatest victory and proudest achievement. I hope I have made you proud.

I also know this campaign would not be possible without the support of our heroic first responders, my brothers and sisters who have knocked on tens of thousands of doors to share my message. You've shown people how a first responder would act as a Mayor; a leader who will run towards the problem, not away from it. I was inspired to become a firefighter because of the first responders who saved my mother’s life, and I continue to be inspired by those who put their lives on the line to keep our community safe every day.

To the unions who represent hard-working Phoenicians and fight for the little guy...

The elected officials who fight for those most in need....

The business leaders and job creators who grow our economy...

And the community leaders who dedicate their lives to bettering our neighborhoods, I was moved and humbled to have your unwavering support on this journey.

When we began this campaign 18 months ago, we set out to share a vision of an economy and a community that leaves nobody behind. To ensure that no matter what zip code you live in, you will have an opportunity to chase your dreams in this city. I ran for Mayor because I believe we not only need a problem-solver who can bring people together to tackle our greatest challenges, but someone who can connect with those who most need a champion and advocate.

I was born and raised in Phoenix by a single mom, so I know what it’s like to be the underdog. I know what it means to struggle. I know what it’s like to share a cot in a homeless shelter with a loved one, or not know where your next meal is coming from. I know what it’s like to feel as though the odds are stacked against you just because of where you came from, or what you look like.

In my time as a Councilman, I worked to make sure everyone in my district knew they mattered, no matter their background or their beliefs. From working to hire more first responders to keep our neighborhoods safe, to creating programs like CodePHX that provide educational opportunities for our children, I can stand here in front of you proud of the work we accomplished as collaborators committed to building a stronger future.

And at the end of this campaign, I can tell you I am incredibly proud of the race we ran. In the face of over a million dollars of outside spending and personal attacks against Wendy and I, we stood strong thanks to your support and encouragement. We didn’t sacrifice our values, and we didn’t resort to the types of negative political attacks we have unfortunately become accustomed to. Instead, we focused on the issues that mattered most to families and provided real solutions to the challenges facing our City.

From Maryvale to Moon Valley, Ahwatukee to Arcadia, Sunnyslope to South Phoenix, we spoke directly to the people of this great city. We met our fellow Phoenicians in their communities and heard their challenges, their fears, and their aspirations. Many of you invested your time, your spirit and your belief in what we stood for, and I know that was felt by everyone we connected with.

While the election did not bring the result that we had worked and hoped for, I know that we gave an effort we should all be proud of. I congratulate Kate Gallego on her victory tonight, and I wish her the best in bringing this City together to address our most pressing needs - and reach our most ambitious goals.

I cannot thank you all enough for the faith you all have placed in me. This journey may have ended differently than we had hoped, but I remain resolute in my willingness to create a Phoenix where everyone matters.....and everyone can chase their dreams.

Thank you, Phoenix. I am proud to stand before you and I appreciate all you've done for me.

-Daniel Valenzuela