Mark Andrew and Robert Lilligren exude class in defeat

Like Dennis Green, both Andrew and Lilligren opted to take <a href="" target="_blank">the "high road."</a>

Like Dennis Green, both Andrew and Lilligren opted to take the "high road."

Tuesday's election marked the end of Robert Lilligren's more than decade-long tenure on the Minneapolis City Council and Mark Andrew's mayoral dreams.

Lilligren's race was arguably the nastiest of all the City Council contests. And while Andrew's matchup against the other leading mayoral contender and eventual (apparent) winner Betsy Hodges was much more civil, the two of them did exchange a few harsh words here and there.

But yesterday, both Andrew and Lilligren released concession statements that are among the classiest you'll see in politics.

First, here's Lilligren's:

I want to give huge thanks to everyone who helped and supported me in this campaign and in my 12 years as a City Council Member. The broad coalition that came together on my behalf represents the diversity and progressive values of the neighborhoods of the 6th Ward and our city. Congratulations to Abdi Warsame and good luck to him as he begins his service to the City of Minneapolis.
For his part, Andrew really cut open a vein on his Facebook page:
Dear friends, family and all those who stood with me:

I want to take this opportunity to thank you.

I spoke with Mayor-elect Hodges on the phone and congratulated her on her well-earned victory in yesterday's election. We ran an incredible campaign but in the end, we just couldn't shake her. Betsy was tenacious, determined and she peaked at the right time. These assets will serve her well as she transitions into her new role as leader of our City. I have offered my friendship and support in pursuit of elevating Minneapolis to its next level of greatness.

As I said last night, I knew going into Election Day that, win or lose, I'm a lucky guy. I have a great family and friends, and I have a good life. Running to serve as mayor of my hometown will remain one of the greatest honors in my life, and your support has filled me with gratitude. Thank you.

We didn't get the outcome we worked so hard for, but we did succeed in bringing people together around the vision we share. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the thousands of you who volunteered throughout the campaign to connect the people of Minneapolis with our plan for Minneapolis. And I want to congratulate the other candidates who worked tirelessly to advance the quality of our city.

Mayor Rybak will be a tough act to follow. Mayor-elect Hodges will seize the moment to close the opportunity gaps in our schools and our neighborhoods, bring new jobs to Minneapolis, make our city more green, and invest in our city's long-term prosperity. I look forward to supporting her and helping in any way I can to keep Minneapolis moving forward.

Thank you for all that you have done and all that you will continue to do to make Minneapolis great for everyone.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Andrew

Compare those statements with what the groups that were vanquished in their efforts to pass a same-sex marriage ban and voter ID amendment said in the days following last year's election and you'll have even more respect for how Lilligren and Andrew handled defeat.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]