Cherelle Parker triumphs in Philly’s hotly-contested Democratic mayoral primary
Parker won on the back of the city’s Democratic establishment and big unions. She takes that same support and momentum to the general election.
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When the dust settled on the night of Tuesday, May 16 in Philadelphia, Cherelle Parker emerged as the winner of the jam-packed, ultra-competitive Democratic mayoral primary.
Shortly after Parker had been declared the winner, she was rushed out of the venue for a dental emergency that required immediate attention, a campaign statement read. She still penned a victory statement on her social media.
"I’m so incredibly honored to have earned the Democratic nomination tonight. It’s been a long road, and to see the tireless work of my campaign team, supporters, and family pay off is humbling. I’m looking forward to November and bringing our city together as its 100th mayor," Parker wrote in a statement on Twitter.
She beat out fellow former City Councilmembers Helen Gym and Allan Domb, City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart, and grocer magnate Jeff Brown at the top of the candidate pack.
While Parker wasn't present, her supporters still celebrated the win with a party held at Laborers Local 332.
"Look at this coalition," Ryan Boyer, leader of the Philadelphia Building Trades, told the crowd before listing off some prominent supporters and organizations. "Give yourselves a round of applause because we have a Black woman as the 100th mayor of Philadelphia."
The former PA State Representative and City Councilmember from Northwest Philly ran on a platform that prioritized cracking down on crime — via community policing and more officers out on the beat — and attracting more venture capital dollars to the city to boost Black and Brown businesses and the overall city economy. It also heavily-emphasized her own lived experience of growing up poor in North Philadelphia and taking advantage of the few opportunities that came her way to see major success.
Parker picked up plenty of criticism on the trail for her hard-on-crime approach and seeming support of a return to stop-and-frisk, but it wasn’t enough to derail her train.
On the campaign trail, Parker also separated herself from the pack by picking up the most local endorsements of any candidate, including heavy hitters like The Philadelphia Building Trades and IBEW Local 98.
Her endorsement roster also included the most local officials, including names like U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, State Senators Christine Tartaglione and Sharif Street and Council President Darrell Clarke, to name a few.
Parker also saw the most support of any candidate from the city’s Latino leaders, and counted on names like State Reps. Danilo Burgos, Jose Giral, former State Rep. Angel Cruz, Councilmember Quetcy Lozada and her predecessor María Quiñones Sánchez to get the word out about her campaign.
Given Philadelphia’s major Democratic majority, Parker is all but confirmed to be the next mayor of Philadelphia, but still must contest a general election against Republican challenger and former Councilmember David Oh.
Should she win that race, Parker will officially become Philadelphia’s 100th mayor and the first-ever woman to lead the city.
"I'm feeling very, very, very good," said Aren Platt, the communications director of Parker's campaign. "We just elected the best candidate for mayor in this field and somebody who has the potential to lead this city over the next 10 or 20 years."