In a phone call this morning, Savage said he is proud of the race that he ran. He leaves with his head held high, having “raised the bar” on the issues, particularly his passion, education. Savage said that ecomonic conditions have made the race difficult and he doesn’t see anything changing.
He will continue to focus on education through his foundation, The Savage Foundation, and work with at-risk youth. These children, while supportive of his campaign, have told him that they miss him. Being on the road campaigning has taken Rich away from them and they will, no doubt, be happy to see him return.
I am sorry to see Rich Savage exit the race. He brought some fresh, new ideas to the contest. And he really is a great guy. I wish him all the best and hope this is not the last that we have seen of him.
His statement, announcing his intentions, is below the fold.
STATEMENT BY RICH SAVAGE
March 6, 2009
Today I made the decision to permanently suspend my campaign for Lt. Governor. The worsening economic downturn presents too great a financial hurdle for my campaign to overcome.
I am thankful for the support that so many Virginians have given to me, and am proud of the work we have done together. While I did not achieve my goal of becoming Lt. Governor, I am proud of the voice we raised in this campaign for education reform.
The necessity of rebuilding our state’s intellectual infrastructure does not end with my campaign. Tomorrow, the facts remain:
Last year, Richmond city’s schools suspended more students than they graduated.
The United States trails in science and in math when compared with other countries.
Virginia needs to lead in education in order to take advantage of new job opportunities.
I call on the candidates who remain in the race – all of them good people and capable leaders – to seize the mantle of education reform. I will certainly continue to speak out for innovative solutions to the challenges that our schools face.
Moving forward, I will redouble my efforts at the community level through my education foundation and my volunteer work with at-risk youth.
To my family, friends and supporters, I am eternally grateful for your belief in me and the vision we share for a better Virginia.