By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Society Hill businesswoman has thrown her hat into the ring: she is the only Republican running this year for mayor of Philadelphia.
When the deadline to submit nominating petitions passed Tuesday, only one person had submitted for the Republican mayoral nomination in the May 19th primary: Melissa Murray Bailey. She’s works out of her Society Hill home for a Swedish branding company.
“I decided this on my own,” she said today.
Bailey says her goal as mayor would be to keep young families from moving out of the city:
“I just said to my husband, I don’t want to move out of the city, and I know of these people don’t either. Every day I am living the challenges that everybody else is talking about. And so, firsthand knowledge, skin in the game. I have a four-year old daughter: this is real for us.”
GOP officials in the city had tried to convince some better-known figures to run, without success. Sam Katz, who has run as a Republican for mayor several times, has changed his party affiliation to independent and is considering running without a party backing in the November general election.
Bailey is not only the only Republican candidate, she is also the youngest candidate, at age 36. She said she believers voters want an outsider.
“I’m not a politician, I’m a businesswoman. And for the past several years I’ve been running parts of companies, and hiring people, and coming up with new ways of doing things,” she tells KYW Newsradio.
The nominating petition deadline also appeared to lock in the Democratic field, barring any challenges to those petitions: state senator Anthony Williams, former DA Lynne Abraham, former councilman Jim Kenney, former city solicitor Nelson Diaz, former Nutter spokesman Doug Oliver, and former state senator Milton Street.
Pastor Keith Goodman, who had announced he was running, announced yesterday that he would not.