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Sometimes it's easy to forget that elections aren't just about those running for office.

Such was the case Tuesday night, as the results came in from the local Republican primary. Amid somber surroundings downtown, as Jeff Crank humbly accepted his defeat to U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a 60-ish man and his two sons approached Crank.

"I just want you to know that I've never helped in a campaign before, but I volunteered for you along with my sons, and it changed my life," said Jim DeLoughry, a retired Air Force officer. "I hope you try again someday."

Crank, obviously moved, said people such as those made him feel glad that he gave the campaign "everything I had, with no regrets."

Later, across the city, as Mark Waller relished beating Douglas Bruce in the state House District 15 race, one couple sat quietly in the background.

Jimmy and Ginny Cook talked about having worked for Margaret Radford's 2004 campaign against Bruce for a county commission seat. Their passion against the bombastic Bruce carried over to this year, when they worked for Waller from caucuses through the county assembly and election night.

"This is a happy day," Jimmy Cook said, as his wife nodded in agreement.

After all, it was their victory, too.

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