It takes guts and a strong ego to run for a locally elected position in government. Lots of people complain, but they don't challenge the power structure.

You ran for office and you lost the election. I know it doesn't feel like it now, but you are a winner. You are a winner because you decided to stand out from the crowd and put yourself forward as a leader.

Ronald Reagan defeated President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Prior to that, he failed to win his own party's nomination in 1968 and again in 1976. Reagan appreciated the people who worked on his campaign and the folks that voted for him. He lost the election but he knew he wasn't a loser because he had built a bond with like-minded people and he had earned their support.

Every vote cast comes from a human being. This is often overlooked by the media and even some candidates. The person voted for you because they believed in you at the moment they voted. On some level, the voter trusted you enough to give you their vote, or at least they believed you were the best of their choices at that moment.

So what do you do now? You can decide that the election wasn't worth it and you didn't want to win anyway. You can decide that it isn't your fault that you lost and there is a "machine" that worked to defeat you. You can just quit the whole process and move on with your life.

Or you can enjoy and appreciate the voters who gave you their vote and the folks who helped out on your campaign. You should accept the fact that you are the biggest reason you did as well as you did in the election. You should accept the fact that you are the biggest reason you lost the election, too.

You have between now and the next time you choose to run for office to figure out how to honor your supporters by running a better campaign.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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