PHILADELPHIA- Cherelle Parker has won the Democratic Primary for Mayor. She’ll face off against David Oh in November to become Philadelphia’s 100th Mayor and the first woman to hold the office.
“I am so excited about this opportunity to have the first Black woman mayor in the history of the City of Philadelphia,” said Katherine Gilmore Richardson, who won her At Large City Council Primary.
Parker won the primary with the support of most of the Wards and a large part of the old Democratic machinery in Philadelphia. Allowing her to sweep through the city’s N.W., North, West, and S.W. sections gave her 33 percent of the vote.
Rebecca Rhynhart and Helen Gym pulled in 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively. The two more progressive candidates pulled votes from each other.
Parker couldn’t deliver her acceptance speech due to a dental emergency. Instead, she tweeted out a message to her supporters, who celebrated in her absence.
“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 Tweeted.
Turnout was meager for such a high-stakes primary election, with only 25 to 30 percent of registered turning out to decide who would be the City of Brotherly Love’s next Mayor.
“It was consistent with previous primaries, but given the stakes, it wasn’t where it should have been and certainly not what we were hoping for,” said Patrick Christmas, Chief Policy Officer for the watchdog group Committee of Seventy.
Violent crime was high on Philadelphian’s list of issues in this race, and Parker capitalized by taking a tough-on-crime stance pledging to hire 300 new police officers and bring back Stop and Frisk.
She sold herself as a champion for middle-class neighborhoods, vowing to provide stability, good-paying jobs, quality housing, and increased educational opportunities.
“Philadelphians are afraid to walk out of the door in their neighborhoods, said Raheem Daniels of East Germantown. “They want someone who will be aggressive in stopping the bloodshed, even if it means a deal with the devil,” Referring to the police.
“I’m glad she’s for more police and stop-and-frisk and open to the National Guard’s possibility to curtail this gun violence epidemic,” said Jamal Johnson, an organizer for Stop Killing Us who has been working to end gun violence in Philadelphia for years.
“The Progressive movement isn’t tied to any particular candidate,” said Nicolas O’Rourke, a Working Families Party candidate for City Council.”There is more than just this cycle; we must keep pushing forward to build community because we’re working to improve people’s lives materially.”
“The Democratic Party provided the infrastructure that led to their candidates winning their elections; if the progressive movement wants to compete in the future, they need to match that infrastructure,” said Tim Brown, a long-time operative in progressive circles. “It’s the only way to win.”
Cindy Bass and Seth Anderson-Oberman are neck and neck with 87 percent of the vote in for the 8th district city council seat, with only a couple hundred votes for Bass separating the two. Bass has 50.7 percent of the vote, and Anderson-Oberman has 49.3 percent. Their race is still too close to call.
Parker’s Campaign statement on her dental emergency:
“Cherelle Parker left the hospital last night after receiving treatment for a dental issue that required immediate medical attention. Cherelle is resting at home and grateful for all the well wishes, thoughts and prayers she received. She hopes to be back out talking to Philadelphians and with press availability in the very near future. We will continue to update daily.”
Updated with information from the Parker Campaign, the addition of commentary by Jamal Johnson, and clarification on another comment.