Voters elected a woman to lead Philadelphia, installing Democrat Cherelle Parker as the 100th mayor of the state’s largest city.
Parker, who will become the first female mayor of Philadelphia when she is sworn in, beat Republican David Oh by nearly 50% points.
The 51-year-old will replace Democrat Jim Kenney, who served two terms.
To the tune of “Ladies First,” an emotional Parker appeared and addressed supporters at her election night watch party, repeating campaign promises to address struggles with crime, education, jobs and poverty. She vowed to work with Philadelphia's state legislative delegation and City Council to move the city forward.
“Who is Cherelle Parker going to be? A get-it-done Philadelphian. A get-it-done mayor who won’t ever forget her deep roots,” she said. “I’m Philly-born, I’m Philly-bred and I’ll be Philadelphian ’til I’m dead.”
Having served for 10 years as a state representative for northwest Philadelphia before her election to the City Council in 2015, she touted herself on the campaign trail as a leader whose government experience would allow her to address gaping problems in the city.
Parker’s moderate message resonated with voters who are increasingly worried 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 that is engaged with the community, along with mental health and behavioral support.
Supporters at the watch party hugged in celebration. Among them was Carolyn Mosley, 57, who said her main concerns going into the election were crime and taxes.
After meeting Parker at a church event earlier this year, she was “100% sold,” she said: “I believe that she can effectively change Philadelphia.”
“Her story reminds me of my story,” said Mosley, who is also a Black woman. “And I can see girls can emulate her.”
Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com