Braley was defeated by Republican Joni Ernst in one of the closest watched races in the country. “There are a lot of disappointed people tonight, including me,” Braley told his supporters gathered in downtown Des Moines. “But, we are lucky to live in a country where we have the freedom to be disappointed in the outcome of an election.”
The 57-year-old Braley, who was first elected to Congress in 2006, said he’s keeping things in perspective following the loss. “This is not a bad day for Bruce Braley. A bad day is when you’re 23-year-old and you lose your father. A bad day is when your next door neighbor, who’s your first cousin, dies of colon cancer when she’s 39 and leaves two children behind,” Braley said, referring to his family.
Braley urged the volunteers who worked on his campaign to stay active in the Democratic Party. “My biggest fear is that all of the great, young Democratic activists that I’ve met on this campaign are going to be frustrated about what happened tonight…that would be the worst outcome of this disappointment,” Braley said.