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Gallagher Murphy rides Blue wave to victory in Newmarket-Aurora

UPDATE: MPP-elect Dawn Gallagher Murphy celebrates win, says she will champion Southlake expansion

UPDATE, 10:50 P.M.

As MPP-elect Dawn Gallagher Muprhy entered her campaign headquarters to the cheers of her supporters, she let out a cry: "We did it!"

The Conservative emerged victorious over her closest challenger, Liberal Sylvain Roy, with 44.5 per cent of the vote with 57 of 60 polls reporting. She will succeed the woman she worked for, Conservative Christine Elliott, as the riding's next MPP.

Gallagher Murphy said she would champion Southlake Regional Health Centre, diversity and the place where she has built her life.

"Newmarket-Aurora is my home," she said in a speech to supporters. "It is where I live, it is where I work, it's where I raised my family and I'm determined to make things better for others today and for generations to come." 

The MPP was embraced by her many supporters, including her family, as her victory was declared. More than 100 people filled the campaign headquarters to be there for the win.

Campaign manager Ryan Puviraj cited the party's ground game in victory. He said the team knocked on 40,000 doors, with Gallagher Murphy hitting 10,000 herself, representing approximately 75 per cent of the riding.

"This is the first campaign I ever managed and I couldn't have picked a better one," he told the joyous crowd. "I am so proud of our entire team."

Gallagher Murphy said she got into politics due to frustration with Liberal government. Although she started out as Elliott's constituency manager, she always knew she wanted to run herself.

"I will build on the strong foundation Christine Elliott left us and continue to work with community members and non-profits to make sure that Newmarket-Aurora is the best place to live," she said. 

Gallagher Murphy said she would work to ensure Southlake's expansion goes ahead, so the community can have two hospital sites.

She also said she has worked to fight discrimination and will continue to do so. 

"Diversity is part of what makes our community so special, and I will continue to build a more equitable Newmarket-Aurora," she said. "No matter where you are from, or what language you speak, I will be there for you." 

Gallagher Murphy's sister Kerry Lubrick said she was happy about the win, and their parents — now passed —would have been proud of her sister.

She credited the win to her sister's passion.

"Because of her connections with the community, because of her interest in making a difference in the health care and educational system," she said.

Lubrick said she is a bit concerned about the work involved, but knows her sister has family and others to help.

"Dawn will knock it out of the park. She will work day and night," Lubrick said. "She has the support of so many to help behind her." 


UPDATE, 9:20 p.m: Newmarket-Aurora Conservatives are celebrating as results confirmed their party will form a new majority government.

Supporters at the campaign office cheered and watched eagerly as results came in confirming that poll projections were right, with Doug Ford continuing as premier.

Volunteer Aamir Khan said that the election is about teamwork.

"We all came together, that's how we win," he said, complimenting the record of the party in government. "They've done what Ontario needs and I think they've done what Ontarians wanted."

It did not take long before media began projecting Doug Ford would take home a majority. The local results are not yet certain, but Dawn Gallagher Murphy is leading with 26 of 60 polls reporting at 45.1 per cent, with Liberal Sylvain Roy at 29.5 per cent and NDP Denis Heng at 13.3 per cent.

Volunteer Omid Yaqub credited the party leader for the win.

"Doug Ford's a really well-known guy. He picked really good candidates to run in the ridings. His plan and his manifesto was really good, building the economy."


9 p.m.: Party members are gathering at the campaign office on Yonge Street expressed a positive mood. 338Canada is projecting Conservative Dawn Gallagher Murphy as likely to become the riding’s next MPP, which has gone Conservative in three of four elections since the riding was formed in 2006. 

Board member Daniel Goutovets said he was "high-spirited" as the campaign wraps up.

“Throughout this campaign, we’ve had the right attitude, we’ve had the motivation, we’ve had the efficiency, we’ve had the right energy,” he said. “Whatever happens tonight, we’ve given it our best and I should hope our best is good enough. I would say the mood is good."

Murphy is an entrepreneur who worked in incumbent MPP Christine Elliott’s office for the past few years. After Elliott suddenly stepped down, Murphy was appointed to the party candidacy without any local candidacy process, prompting the riding association president to resign in protest.

But Goutovets said the local party stands by its candidate.

"We all believe in Dawn," he said. "She's a sincere, genuine, very down-to-earth, very remarkable lady."

Like Conservatives in other ridings, Murphy has faced criticism and callouts from other candidates for skipping events. Of the four largest parties — Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Green — Murphy was the only local candidate to miss all three of the all-candidates events for the riding, including the only in-person one in Newmarket. She was also the only candidate besides the Ontario Party to not respond to a NewmarketToday questionnaire sent to all candidates. Murphy also did not respond to a questionnaire from the south of the riding about subway extension planning.

Campaign manager Ryan Puviraj said they did answer some questionnaires and wanted to attend debates, but family health conflicts came up. 

But he said the party has left nothing to chance, and canvassed 40,000 doors in the riding.

“Dawn has made the case as to why she should be the next MPP of Newmarket-Aurora,” he said. “She’s done a really good job.” 

Puviraj said he is a little anxious about the results, but is hopeful for good energy tonight.

"We're all hoping for the best." 

Elections Ontario expects results to start coming shortly after 9 p.m. when polls close. Puviraj said speeches would start around 10 p.m., depending on how the night unfolds.

NewmarketToday will update this story throughout the night.