November 9, 2022
(PHILADELPHIA) — Jim Harrity, the Democratic candidate, previously the political director of the state Democratic party, won the race for City Council At-Large during a special election yesterday for the first district in Philadelphia. Harrity delivered for the Democrats beating his Republican opponent Drew Murray in this solid blue city.
Harrity received 79.4% of the vote, according to the Office of the Philadelphia City Commissioners, with 96% of the votes reported at the time of publication.
“I had never thought I would ever run,” Harrity told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “But I talk to these young kids in the neighborhood. They don’t want anything extra. They just want a fair shot.”
Harrity is no stranger to “rough and tumble” neighborhoods, as he explained to the Homeowners Association of Philadelphia (HAPCO). Born and raised in Southwest Philadelphia, Harrity talked openly during his campaign about his turbulent years as a teen, his struggle to overcome alcoholism later in life, and his experience getting his bakery up and running. These struggles shaped his priorities for this campaign — getting kids off the street, reducing red tape for business owners, and keeping communities clear of trash.
According to the city Democratic Party’s website, Harrity, 50, started his political career in his early 20s when he became the president of the Philadelphia Young Democrats. Later he worked as a campaign aide to the late state Sen. Buddy Cianfrani. For the last four years, Harrity served as executive director for the Office for Democratic state Sen. Shariff Street. He also serves on the board of the addiction nonprofit One Day at a Time.
When speaking at HAPCO on Oct. 12, he reinforced his belief that homeowners should get their fair market share. He does not believe that the government has the right to tell landlords what to do. “This is a partnership,” he said. “If we, the government, will come and ask you to take a hit, then we, the government, have to take a hit too.”
Harrity’s opponent Murray studied economics at Dickinson University and earned his MBA from Temple University. He is a regional sales manager for O’Brien Business Systems, according to his profile on LinkedIn.
When asked about his big idea to lower poverty in Philly, Harrity told Axo News, “ I would try to attract new technology and bio-industries to Philadelphia.”
Now, he has the opportunity to do just that.