Derek Green throws his weight behind Cherelle Parker in the primary home stretch
Green, the former at-Large City Councilmember who suspended his mayoral campaign, endorsed Parker for Philly mayor. Will Maria Quiñones Sánchez follow suit?
Weeks ago, Derek Green stood on many stages next to Cherelle Parker to debate the city’s issues and why he would be a sound selection for voters before announcing the formal suspension of his mayoral campaign.
Weeks later, on Tuesday morning, April 25, Green said that after evaluating his endorsement prospects and meeting with a shortlist of three candidates, he chose to back Parker “without any hesitation,” adding he would focus his efforts on independent, undecided voters.
He did not name the two other candidates initially but later told reporters he’d met with Rebecca Rhynhart and Allan Domb before ultimately deciding to back Parker three weeks before the primary election on May 16.
Green, who said he was looking for a contender who could inspire people like his son, Julian, acclaimed Parker for “bringing together a broad coalition” and for her “ability to really say the things that need to be said, that may not be the most popular, but are needed to reduce gun violence in the city of Philadelphia,” he said in his introductory remarks.
The bulk of Green’s address prior to making the endorsement focused on the top three issues discussed this cycle — including public safety, gun violence, and poverty — before speaking about the need for “dramatic policy” that could take on the city’s challenges.
“I know three weeks from today, the citizens of the city of Philadelphia will have to make a decision. And this has been a challenging campaign. And there are a lot of undecided people still trying to think out who should be the 100th Mayor of the City of Philadelphia,” Green said.
Two candidates out of the race make for six serious, viable contenders remaining in the field, leaving voters with a wide pool of competing platforms. It remains to be seen if Green’s endorsement helps narrow that choice.
He told reporters present outside of City Hall that he’d tackle undecided voters, and assist the campaign with his political reach locally, statewide, and nationally “to make sure that the future of the City of Philadelphia is in the right hands.”
“I'm focusing my efforts on those undecided individuals who are not sure where they should be so I can listen to someone that went through a process to endorse Cherelle Parker.”
Aside from being the only two Black candidates in the mayoral pool, now down to one, Green and Parker both graduated from the Marian Tasco School of municipal politics and shared a coalition of support in Northwest Philly.
Parker, receiving Green’s endorsement, also spoke of their shared tenure in Council and recognized the value that he brought to the mayoral race.
“I want to state for the record that I have known and worked alongside Councilmember Derek Green for a very long time. His knowledge and passion for the city cannot be denied. As a candidate for mayor, he made everyone running better by helping us see things differently,” Parker said.
“I want you to know that his vision of the city that expects more and deserves better will be realized as we work together to make Philadelphia what we all desire.”
With Green’s backing, Parker becomes the first candidate to acquire support from a former opponent in the race for mayor. María Quiñones Sánchez has yet to make an endorsement but has told AL DÍA in previous interviews that she leans toward Parker because of her lived experience though an official announcement remains pending.
Still, Green’s announcement only adds to Parker’s endorsement closet, which now includes the full slate of Latino elected officials statewide, multiple unions, and a majority of the northeastward leaders.
More broadly, the elected officials opting to back Parker laud her stances on gun violence and the city’s opioid crisis, currently concentrated in the Kensington community.
Whereas Parker’s critics say the endorsements are indicative of a “status-quo” candidate who will uphold dated policies, pointing to her stances on stop-and-frisk, supervised injection sites, and her belief in added police officers in Philly at large.
But Parker —- who from the outset framed herself as an unapologetic candidate — said she wasn’t concerned about being “canceled.”
“If you introduce this plan, calling for more community policing, towards cap officers walking the beat, and riding bikes and neighborhoods across the city Cherelle Parker, you are going to get canceled. Why? Because it was the same time when there was an extremely loud and noisy echo chamber attempting to encourage us to go through basic slogans. Slogans like defund the police,” Parker said.