This article first appeared November 4, 2016 at AL DIA NEWS
Republican candidate for mayor, Melissa Murray Bailey, was busy election night. She spent part of the evening at Fitzpatrick Recreation Center in the far Northeast, where she once worked the polls during an election for current Representative Martina White. Murray Bailey called the feeling of the polling place “special and supportive.”
Murray Bailey and her party faced an uphill battle in the Philadelphia elections, where Democrats are estimated to outnumber Republicans 7 to 1.
At the United Republican Club later in the evening, Republican Party members wearing yellow “I’m with Melissa” shirts anxiously awaited her arrival after the polls closed. She arrived around 9 p.m., after the AP called the race for her opponent, Democratic candidate Jim Kenney.
The room at the United Republican Club was also filled with Murray Bailey’s family members, including her husband, behind her on stage with a yellow volunteer shirt, and her sisters and parents in the audience. Her daughter traveled with her through election night.
“So many people from across the city really did come together,” Murray Bailey said, “on a common message to build a better Philadelphia. What we did here is incredible. We talked about real issues holding the city back, the fact that we’re not friendly to business, the fact that our public schools are failing so many of our children, and we created a real platform for change.”
The feeling at the United Republican Club after the race was called for Kenney was not so much one of defeat, as of relief. The talk of the evening, before Murray Bailey arrived, was of the turnout for their Party in this election. They were looking for revitalization, and still felt as though they had found it in Murray Bailey.
“From a standing start last winter, we put a new face on the Republican Party in Philadelphia, a face that we can all be proud of.” Murray Bailey said. “We have touched so many parts of this city, especially those that have been the most neglected.”
She also told a story of a POW bracelet she has worn since it was given to her by First Lieutenant Ralph Galati after they met this past Memorial Day. “Any time is gets hard and I felt like, this isn’t fair, what are we doing here? I just looked at this bracelet and I remember that so many other people have things so much harder than what we went through here. And if this campaign was able to bring some light and life to people who needed it most, than that’s what this campaign was all about.”