Complete results from the 2023 elections in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Parker, 51, emerged from a large field of Democrats in the May primary and was heavily favored over Republican David Oh in the city, a Democratic stronghold. She will replace Democrat Jim Kenney, who was not up for re-election due to term limits.
She campaigned on a promise to make Philadelphia “the safest, cleanest, greenest big city in the country that will provide access to economic opportunity for all.”
To the tune of “Ladies First,” an emotional Parker appeared and addressed supporters at her election night party at the Sheet Metal Workers hall on South Columbus Boulevard, repeating her campaign promises to fight against crime, education, employment and poverty. The Mount Airy native, who was raised by her grandparents, is committed to working with the Philadelphia state legislative delegation and City Council to move the city forward.
“Who will Cherelle Parker be? A consummate Philadelphian. An accomplished mayor who will never forget her deep roots,” she said. “I was born in Philadelphia, I was born in Philadelphia, and I will be Philadelphia until I die.”
After serving as a state representative from Northwest Philadelphia for 10 years before her election to the City Council in 2015, she presented herself on the campaign trail as a leader whose government experience would allow her to solve gaping problems from the city.
“We cannot solve these problems alone,” she said previously. “We need federal, state and local governments, as well as the private sector and philanthropic communities, to help us ensure public health and safety.”
Parker’s moderate message resonated with voters who are increasingly concerned about public safety, as well as quality of life issues, from faulty streetlights to potholes to trash collection . She also promised a well-trained police force engaged with the community, as well as mental and behavioral health support. She was elected at a time when the city is looking for a new police commissioner, who we could hear an announcement about in a few weeks.
“You’ve heard me talk about making public health and safety our number one priority. Look, I make no apologies for it. We’re going to use every legal tool available to make this city safe,” Parker said .
Fans at the watch party hugged each other in celebration. Among them was Carolyn Mosley, 57, who said her main concerns before the election were crime and taxes.
After meeting Parker at a church event earlier this year, she was “100 percent sold,” she said: “I believe she can actually change Philadelphia.”
“Her story reminds me of mine,” said Mosley, who is also a Black woman. “And I see that girls can imitate him.”
David Oh, a lawyer and city council member, aimed to become the city’s first Asian American mayor. He has pledged to reduce Philadelphia’s crime rate, including recruiting an influx of police officers and tackling drug use.
No Republican has won the Philadelphia mayoral race in more than 70 years. He said it was important for everyone to support Parker.
“I think it’s a challenge – whether I won or she won – to earn the credibility that comes with being elected. Now it does – to make that difference,” he said. said Oh.
Oh conceded to Parker just before 11 p.m.
“We have come to the end of this journey. The voters have spoken and Cherelle Parker is the 100th mayor of Philadelphia, so I congratulate her and wish her well. It’s her responsibility now, and we will all support her to ensure that “She makes the most successful mayor this city has ever known because that’s what’s in the public interest,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.