McDermott emotional in concession: “I wasted 14 months of my life.”

By: - November 8, 2022 9:01 pm

Tom McDermott made a whole-hearted concession to Young Tuesday about 8:30 p.m., telling a crowd of Democrats to give the Republican a “big round of applause.”

“I want everybody to know I called Sen. Todd Young about five minutes ago, and I wished Todd Young well in the next six years of leading the state of Indiana as U.S. senator,” McDermott said. “And I mean it with all my heart — the better he does, the better our state does. So I want to congratulate Todd Young for beating me tonight.”

McDermott thanked a detailed list of family members, staffers, friends and supporters, and he shouted out former U.S. Sen. Joe Donelly, who represents the last time Democrats won a statewide election in 2012.

“I talked to Joe Donnelly before I got started on this track, and Joe Donnelly told me, ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen, mayor? You’re going to meet a lot of great people, and you’re going to see a beautiful state,’” McDermott said. “He was dead right.”

But after stepping on the stage and hugging his way through a small line of well-wishers, an emotional McDermott openly contemplated dropping out of politics.

McDermott previously told the Capital Chronicle he filed to run out of “protest,” saying, “Young doesn’t deserve an easy victory.” Asked if he had regrets after his loss, he nodded a yes, then added, “You’re talking to me right after I lost. So yeah, I regret it. I wasted 14 months of my life.”

“I gave everything I had and it wasn’t really that close,” McDermott said. “So it makes me think that this isn’t my line of work. And so, honestly, I’m probably done in politics.”

Democrat Tom McDermott gives a concession speech Tuesday night to supporters. (Leslie Bonilla Muñiz/Indiana Capital Chronicle)

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Leslie Bonilla Muñiz
Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

Leslie joins the Indiana Capital Chronicle after covering city government and urban affairs for the Indianapolis Business Journal for more than a year. She graduated from Northwestern University in March 2021, and has reported for the Chicago Tribune, Voice of America and student publications in Evanston, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and Doha, Qatar.