Like Councilman Perez, I accept the decision of the Court of Appeals. However, I cannot say I am happy with it either. I thought all three Democrats running for attorney general were well-qualified and deserved a chance to make their case to the voters. I met Councilman Perez for the first time when I moderated the first attorney general debate at Prince George's Community College. He struck me as an intelligent man whose genuine and obvious commitment to fighting for his beliefs you had to respect.
I am deeply disappointed by the ruling that was delivered today by the Maryland Court of Appeals. While I respect the rule of law, I strongly disagree with its assessment. It is indeed regrettable that the fate of my candidacy will be determined in a courtroom instead of at the polls. Although I disagree with the decision, the Court of Appeals makes the rules and I play by the rules.
While disappointed, I am humbled and grateful for the support that I have received across this great and beautiful state. Since announcing my candidacy last Spring, I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. I have developed a joyous appreciation for the aspirations, challenges and character that define the Maryland people. I will always cherish the experiences of the past year. Life is a chapter book, and I have cherished every chapter of my life. The past year is no exception.
I will take from this campaign a renewed commitment to the causes that I have fought for during this campaign and over the course of my career in public life. I will continue to fight for access to quality health care, the constitutional right to a quality education, preservation of our endangered natural resources, and protection of Maryland's embattled consumers from predatory forces. While the actions taken by the court today close the book on my campaign, my dedication to public service and progressive values remains stronger than ever.
On behalf of my family, I thank everyone who has uplifted this campaign with their support, guidance and best wishes. I would like to thank my staff, as well as those in the progressive movement who worked so hard on my behalf. I look forward to working to build a more progressive, inclusive Maryland, and will work harder than ever to elect Democrats such as Martin O'Malley, Anthony Brown and others who share my progressive vision for Maryland.
Perez is a talented candidate and a real asset to the Democratic Party. I write this not as a political epitaph but in the full expectation that we will see more of him in the future.