One week later and it still doesn’t quite feel real, does it? Like many of you, I’m still trying to sort out the lessons and emotions that Tuesday’s results delivered. And while that will continue for a while, I know we can only look backward for so long. I’ve lost a race before, and believe me: I know it hurts. There’s no way around that, especially when so many of us were so convinced that Hillary Clinton was the best, most qualified candidate to seek the office and serve as our president.

Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine ran a race and offered a positive vision for this nation of which we can all be proud. Working together, we gave Virginia’s 13 electoral votes to a woman for the first time in history. Strong Democratic candidates stepped up to run in every district of Virginia, and we brought a congressional seat into the blue column by sending my friend Donald McEachin to Congress.

Even though the loss still stings, we can’t stay down forever. They’re counting on us staying down. We can’t let one defeat cause another.

We’ve got work to do right now – to defend the progress made under President Obama, to demand that every American is treated with respect and dignity under this new administration and to let our friends, families and neighbors who are feeling vulnerable and fearful know we stand with them.

Friends, I want you to know nothing that happened Tuesday changes my values or weakens my resolve to protect, to serve and to ensure justice. In fact, I am more committed and resolved than ever to stand up for ALL Virginians, especially those most vulnerable.

Despair is a luxury we can’t afford right now, not with so much still hanging in the balance. Together, we will find a way forward, because even though the slogan didn’t win (at least the Electoral College), as Democrats we know we’re always stronger together.