Eighteen months ago, this campaign started with a small group of supporters. Look at you now!
To the voters of Colorado -- thank you! This is an honor and a privilege.
And the best way to thank you is to govern well. That's absolutely what Barbara O'Brien and I intend to do.
We've been given a rare opportunity to govern differently, to govern the way we campaigned, to say that every place in Colorado, every person in Colorado, matters.
We're going to govern a unified and united Colorado. This is one state. This not urban vs. rural. This is not Western Slope vs. Front Range. This is not even Republican vs. Democrat. We don't fulfill the Colorado Promise as Democrats. We fulfill it together as Coloradans.
I said when I accepted the nomination in Greeley that this election would be about cynics vs. those who hope. I had no idea how right I would be. Fortunately, the hopeful -- those who want to walk with us and work with us to fulfill the Colorado Promise -- prevailed.
But we must not forget the cynics. We must work to convert them and give them hope about the legitimate role that government can play in people's lives.
We are going to close the partisan divide and do what's best for this one state. We'll do that by looking for the common ground, by staying true to the center and always doing what's right and what's responsible.
I will govern this state as a gatekeeper on good public policy. We will do what's best for the entire state so that we can deliver on the Colorado Promise for all Coloradans so that we can solve real problems.
The Colorado Promise means we will reform our education system.
The Colorado Promise means we will insure the uninsured and create a Colorado Health Plan for the 770,000 people who lack health care coverage in Colorado.
The Colorado Promise means we will establish a New Energy Economy and make Colorado a national and global renewable energy leader.
Is this ambitious? Is it bold and daring? Absolutely. We only achieve our goals -- we only fulfill the Colorado Promise -- by having the courage and the determination to try.
Campaigns are always hardest on our families. I would like to thank my wife, Jeannie, and our children, Tally, Sam, Abe, and August for coming along on this journey.
I also need to thank my mother, Ethel Ritter, and the army of Ritter siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws who got involved and helped bring this home. Wherever we went on the campaign trail, there was always a Ritter there.
I also need to thank the dozens of interns and volunteers who gave this campaign an incredible sense of youth, energy and excitement. We could not have done this without them.
We absolutely could not have done this without my incredible campaign staff, and especially campaign manager Greg Kolomitz, who put together and executed a tremendous campaign plan.
Finally, let me close by saying this ... On our way back from Colorado Springs today, we drove past SkyRidge Medical Center. This morning, Keller Kuna and Trey Thomas were born at SkyRidge, just as there were babies born in hospitals all across Colorado today.
Keller, Trey and those other babies represent the hope and promise of a new day, a clean slate. This election is about them. It's about their future. It's about fulfilling the Colorado Promise for them.