After four years working for Newmarket-Aurora MP and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott, Conservative candidate Dawn Gallagher Murphy said she wants to continue to be a part of what the government has built.
Gallagher Murphy took over the riding candidacy shortly after Elliott announced her departure from politics March 4 She has acted as Elliott’s constituency office manager and is now readying to run for the office itself in the Newmarket-Aurora riding.
“I believe that our government over these past four years (has) accomplished so much,” she said. “We’re doing great things to build Ontario, and I want to be a part of it … I want to continue advocating and bringing that good work.”
Gallagher Murphy said she has lived in Aurora for 13 years, in the north end of the Newmarket-Aurora riding. She said spent 25 years in the private sector, 15 running her own consulting business. She said she got into politics to be more involved in the community after 15 years of watching the Liberal government.
She said she is passionate about Southlake Regional Health Centre and wants to advocate for the hospital, noting she led a team for the Nature Emporium’s Run for Southlake in 2019. With her business background, she said she will advocate for small businesses as well, and praised the government’s prioritization of Ontario-made products.
“I understand what it takes to run a business,” she said. “I’m really happy that our government has been listening in the budget consultations we’ve done over the years.”
When asked about how her nomination came about — whether the party had approached her or if she had raised it herself — Gallagher Murphy said she could not speak to internal matters. But she said she is eager to take on the role and has enjoyed support from residents.
“I am humbled by the words of encouragement, the appreciation that I’ve received from community members,” she said. “I’m honoured to take on this opportunity … I’m going to be working tirelessly."
The party backed her nomination, calling her a “strong, effective and result-oriented community leader” in a March news release. But her sudden nomination led to some controversy, with the local riding association president Bill Hogg stepping down over a lack of local input into the party's candidate decision.
Murphy thanked Hogg for his volunteerism but said she now has the backing of the local association.
“I truly believe that volunteerism makes up the social fabric of our community,” she said. “The board has supported me immensely over the past few weeks. I am greatly appreciative of their support.”
Murphy is set to square off against Dr. Sylvain Roy of the Liberal Party and Denis Heng of the NDP, with no other candidates selected yet.
She said she believes in the government’s record over the past four years and feels great about her chances.
“I’m a local resident speaking to them about what our local needs are,” she said of her community conversations. “I am honoured, and I’m humbled to be the Ontario PC candidate. And my commitment to every single voter is I’m going to try my very best to get to every single door and meet you.”