Thanking his “political father” Jim Clyburn, Jaime Harrison, associate chairman of the Democratic National Committee, conceded to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham after a close and contentious race followed around the nation.

“We didn’t get the result at the ballot box that we wanted, but we showed courage and determination,” Harrison, called by many people the future of the Democratic Party, said. “But we brought hope back to South Carolina. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

As of October 14, Harrison’s grassroots campaign raised about $131 million compared to Graham’s $78 million, Newsweek reports. South Carolina Democratic Strategist Laurin Manning Gandy considers that a win.

“We’ll probably never see investment like this in our state party for the rest of our lives,” Gandy told Newsweek. “The South is trending blue, and South Carolina is no exception. We may be a few paces behind our neighbors, but we’re moving in the same direction.”

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Jaime Harrison, Lindsey Graham

As ESSENCE previously reported, Harrison is no stranger to naysayers and there’s little doubt that he’ll run for office again.

“They told me I couldn’t go to law school, and I went to Georgetown. They told me I would just be a regular staffer on Capitol Hill, and I ended up being one of the top ones there. Right now they’re saying, once again, ‘You can’t win in the United States Senate.’ And I’m telling them — watch me.”

Harrison kept that same spirit of hope and determination during his concession speech. Conjuring the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and urging his supporters to not give up the fight, he looked to the future.

“We will build a new south together.”

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