Associate Professor of Philosophy Julius Bailey has announced his run for Springfield City Commissioner. If elected, he would join current Wittenberg professor and Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland as a key Wittenberg player in local politics.
Bailey traces his motivation for running for public office back to his time as an undergraduate at Howard University, where he served as Student Body President. Serving the students of Howard eventually led him to realize that he wanted to run for office on the state level.
In the summer of 2020, Bailey put out an exploratory committee and announced his candidacy for a gubernatorial run in 2022. However, due to both financial and personal uncertainty, he decided to halt that campaign in December of 2020.
Bailey was encouraged by a former local candidate and other members of the community to run for a newly vacant City Commissioner seat.
“I got a call from the woman who was my realtor,” Bailey said. “[She] actually also ran for County Clerk, named Sheila Rice. She told me that people want [me] to run for City Commissioner.”
When Rice called Bailey, there were only two weeks left until the deadline to run for commissioner. To be eligible to run, a candidate must have lived in Springfield for five years, be in good standing with the community and have gathered 250 valid signatures from Springfield citizens who are registered to vote. With just days to spare, Dr. Bailey gathered over 460 signatures with the assistance from those in both the Wittenberg and Springfield communities.
While he doesn’t consider himself the most popular or wealthy candidate in the race, Bailey does pride himself on his reputation as a sincere individual who can get along with about anyone.
“Typically, they say a good name is better than riches, and I think that’s true,” Bailey said. “I think that my name carries goodness with it. My job is now going to be translating what people may have heard about me into now what individual people know of me, and then [to] how I can help them as their commissioner.”
When it comes to the issues, Bailey is focused on development and housing policy and making sure that current Springfield beautification projects remain beneficial for the community.
“Springfield just got a grant to beautify the Southside or Limestone area,” he said. “I’m going to be paying attention to what that means.”
Bailey hopes to help Springfield residents by using both his lived experience and philosophical mindset to analyze issues like the Southside beautification project.
“As a philosopher, I’m not really into aesthetics more than I am into reality,” he said. “But there is something to be said though about a community that looks good. The hope is that we operate as good as we look, so I’ll be paying attention to those initiatives that have already been put forth.”
The next elections for City Commissioner will be held in early November 2021. Until then, Bailey is focused on gathering as much support as possible for his campaign. While he is new to the local political scene, Bailey seeks to earn political capital through the support of Springfield citizens.
“[If] you let me come out of here [in] November with the most votes, I [will] come into the City Commission like: ‘I may be the new kid on the block, but I have a mandate. We’re going to put some work in on these distressed communities, or we’re going to have a problem here,’” Bailey sad.
If you’re interested in learning more about Dr. Bailey and his run for office, visit his website at www.juliusbailey.com.