Democrat Cherelle Parker, a former member of the Philadelphia City Council, has been elected the city’s next mayor, NBC News projects, which will make her the first woman to hold the office.
Parker cruised past her Republican opponent, David Oh. But before she got to the general election, she had to battle through a crowded Democratic primary in May.
Parker defeated five other Democratic candidates, winning 32% of the primary vote. After she secured the nomination, Parker’s victory as the next mayor was all but certain. The city hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1952.
Parker’s platform was rooted in her upbringing in a blue-collar majority-Black neighborhood in Philadelphia. Amid rising concerns of violence and threats to public safety, she hopes as mayor to restore the “village” that raised her.
“I’m uniquely prepared to make the city the safest, cleanest, greenest big city in the nation with access to economic opportunity for all,” she said.
The current mayor, Democrat Jim Kenney, did not officially endorse a candidate to succeed him, but his vote for Parker in the primary was a signal of support for her candidacy.
Parker was a Democratic representative in the Pennsylvania state House from 2005 until 2015, when she was elected to the Philadelphia City Council. She resigned in September 2022 when she launched her mayoral campaign.