This election was historic, hard fought and has finally come to a conclusion. Irrespective of our political preferences, we should be proud of our political system and the fact that we have free elections that allow all of us to go to the polls and choose our leaders. I know that this election was hard fought and emotional for those on all sides of the political spectrum.

As someone who has run for political office, having won and lost close elections, I know how the sting of defeat can be harder to swallow than the joys of a victory. Irrespective of an outcome, the next day you dust yourself off and go back to work with nothing but hope for your nation, irrespective of who leads it and irrespective of what party is in power.

As President Obama said [after the election], we are Americans first and Republicans and Democrats second. I wish to offer my congratulations to President-elect Trump on his election as the 45th President of the United States. Against long odds, the president-elect worked hard to attain this office.

There are millions of people who have never participated in the democratic process before and this is in large measure because of President-elect Trump’s candidacy. As an American, I want his presidency to succeed so our country will succeed. I also wish to congratulate Secretary Clinton on her historic campaign as the first woman to ever lead a major political party as the presidential nominee.

Our democracy provides for the orderly transfer of government and for the good of our nation we need to come together to move our nation forward. As Secretary Clinton said in her concession speech, “I hope that [Donald Trump] will be a successful president for all Americans . . . Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

I couldn’t agree more.