Election Results: Democrat Cherelle Parker wins primary for Philadelphia mayor

Philadelphia Democrats outnumber Republicans 7 to 1, so Tuesday night's Democratic winner is likely the next mayor.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Democrat Cherelle Parker wins primary for Philadelphia mayor
Cherelle Parker, a Democrat with a long political history in Pennsylvania, won Philadelphia's mayoral primary on Tuesday.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Cherelle Parker, a Democrat with a long political history in Pennsylvania, won Philadelphia's mayoral primary on Tuesday, likely setting her up as the city's 100th mayor and the first woman to serve in the role.

Parker, 50, who served for 10 years as a state representative for northwest Philadelphia before her election to the city council in 2015, asserted herself as a leader whose government experience would allow her to address gaping problems with public safety and quality of life in the nation's sixth-largest city. She will go up against Republican David Oh in the Nov. 7 general election.

The former city councilmember did not speak to supporters Tuesday night due to "an emergency," according to her campaign.

On Wednesday morning, Parker's campaign issued a statement saying she is now resting at home.

"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," the statement said.

Parker defeated a crowded field of candidates vying to replace Democrat Jim Kenney. The candidates included Rebecca Rhynhart, Helen Gym, Allan Domb, Jeff Brown, Amen Brown, James Deleon, Delscia Gray and Warren Bloom.

The win was a disappointment to progressives who rallied around Helen Gym, who was backed by Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Philadelphia mayoral candidate Cherelle Parker takes part in a Democratic primary debate at the WPVI-TV studio in Philadelphia, April 25, 2023.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

The Philadelphia race serves as the latest barometer of how residents of some of the nation's largest cities hope to emerge from the pandemic, which heightened concerns about crime, poverty and inequality. The results have sometimes been tumultuous in other parts of the country, leading to the defeat of the incumbent mayor of Chicago in February and the ouster of San Francisco's district attorney last year.

Election Results: Live updates from 2023 Pennsylvania primary

Parker pledged to "stop the sense of lawlessness that is plaguing our city" by putting hundreds more officers on the street to engage in community policing. Parker pushed for officers to use every legal tool, including stopping someone when they have "just cause and reasonable suspicion."

She received support from members of the Philadelphia delegation in the House, as well as members of Congress. She was also backed by labor unions and a number of wards in the city, and Kenney said he had cast his ballot for her.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.