"I also look forward to working with Bill Sorrell to make sure Sorrell is re-elected to another term. Bill, I'm with you all the way," T.J. Donovan said.
It's an image that can only be seen on Aug. 29: two primary candidates hugging after a heated session of summer politics.
"We left nothing on the table and while we're disappointed in the results, it's time to move on," Donovan said.
Donovan says he's pleased the campaign prioritized policy issues like prescription drug abuse, substance abuse and mental illness. Sorrell says he plans to work with Donovan on these priorities going forward.
"T.J. did call me earlier this morning and so graciously congratulated me and offered his full assistance in what's going to be a tough race this fall," Sorrell said.
Donovan says he has no regrets about their policy based campaign. The race brought more than 40,000 voters to the polls Tuesday. It was dwarfed by the previous primary in 2010 which garnered more than 100,000 voters. That primary included a five-person Democratic primary in the race for governor. Early predictions from the secretary of state had it closer to the record low of nearly 37,000 voters in 2008.
"I have a different appreciation for human nature. I have a different appreciation for politics and I know myself a lot better than I did six months ago," Sorrell said.
Vermont Democrats met at a unity rally shortly after Donovan's concession, where not only did Donovan get behind Sorrell's campaign, but top ranking democrats recognized Donovan as a future leader of the party.
"T.J. you will continue to have a critical role in the future of the state you love. We will stand by you and help you as you do," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.
In the last unofficial Vermont primary results from the Associated Press, with 99 percent of the vote counted, incumbent Bill Sorrell led Donovan with 51 percent of the vote on a count of 21,102-20,408.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:54 AM EDT2013-06-19 15:54:59 GMT
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