Coastsider David Seaton ran an unsuccessful campaign for a seat on the Cabrillo Unified School District board of trustees this year. When it was over, he received a letter from U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, congratulating him on his efforts and thanking him for his interest in public service. Afterward, he penned this response, which originally appeared on LinkedIn. It appears here with his permission.

Losing an election is a somber feeling. One whereby you feel like you've let down both the people who have voted for and against you equally, but for completely different reasons.

A note I just received from U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier on the amount of losing required to actually win an overall greater purpose distills down the essence of what the process is really all about — the reason why I decided to run for a position a few hours before the candidate deadline to ensure an incumbent board president was forced to compete for her position, instead of slip by automatically in an uncontested election.

Her note is an example of great writing; as I'm truly torn between the inherent wisdom that her words provide and the reality that the message being delivered to me is actually a case of very bad news.

In conceding that I lost to an incredibly qualified opponent, I'm content failing forward, knowing I did my part to ensure the strength of our democracy gets continuously tested.

I feel very blessed to have an amazing family and live in such a great community. I’m grateful for the support and well wishes of friends, and thankful to live in a democracy where trying and being unsuccessful doesn't always lead to failure.

David Seaton is a Half Moon Bay resident.

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