Looking ahead to November: Philadelphia Mayor 2023
Democratic primary winner Cherelle Parker will be taking on Republican and former City Councilmember colleague David Oh in November’s general election.
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Former Philadelphia City Councilmember Cherelle Parker was officially declared the winner of the Democratic primary for Mayor on May 16, receiving over 32% of the vote and defeating second placed Rebecca Rhynhart by over 10 percentage points because of the strong support she garnered from the city’s low-income neighborhoods and the Black community.
In the few months since, Parker has largely been out of public view but because Philly is an overwhelmingly Democratic city, she’s the favorite to take it all in the upcoming November general election.
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Parker said she’s been away taking care of some dental issues that forced her to miss her victory party, she expressed gratitude for key supporters of her campaign, went on vacation, and spent some quality time with her 10-year-old son, Langston.
“I remind people daily, I am not the mayor-elect. I am the Democratic nominee for the mayor of Philadelphia and still have to win a general election in November,” Parker said. “That is why we are continuing to run a campaign to earn the support of Philadelphians in every neighborhood and zip code.”
The former State Representative said she’d be ramping up her campaign activities after Labor Day as she prepared to face off against former City Council Member and Republican David Oh. If elected, Parker would become Philly’s 100th mayor and the first woman to take on the job.
Oh is the most prominent Republican mayoral candidate for nearly 20-years and faces a tough uphill battle in November’s general election. Parker has deep ties with the local and national Democratic establishment and Oh has previously clashed with Philadelphia’s Republican leaders.
“I see her as willing to get along with the power structure,” Oh recently said in an interview with Metro Philadelphia. “What that says to me, however, is she’s not a reformer. And I think that would define her – not a reformer. I’m a reformer.”
“If I say I’m going to reform city government, people actually believe I will,” he added. “Because I have a history of not really caring about the consequences of what I do, politically speaking.”
The GOP is outmanned over 7-to-1 in Philadelphia, but the Republican candidate is not worried as he told Metro that many sign up as Democrats to avoid retribution or to vote in primaries. He’ll be looking to take 25% of the opposing party’s vote.
The last competitive general election for Philadelphia Mayor was Republican Sam Katz’s unsuccessful 2003 bid to defeat sitting Democratic Mayor John F. Street.
Incumbent Democratic mayor Jim Kenney is term limited. The city’s three past mayors were previously members of City Council who resigned their seats to run for mayor due to the "resign to run" provision of the city’s election law.
Ed Rendell was the last mayor that did not come from the Philly City Council.
Election Day is November 7.