Nov 7, 2023 - News

Parker becomes first woman mayor in Philadelphia history

Cherelle Parker

Cherelle Parker during a campaign event in May. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images via Getty

Democrat Cherelle Parker defeated Republican David Oh Tuesday in Philadelphia's mayoral race, per AP.

Why it matters: Parker will become the first woman to lead Philly in city history and her victory signals a likely shift toward tough-on-crime policies.

State of play: The former city legislator replaces outgoing Mayor Jim Kenney, who is term-limited.

  • She'll become Philly's 100th mayor when she's sworn in in January.

Between the lines: Parker's victory over Oh was never in question due to Democrats' outsized registered-voter advantage over Republicans in the city.

Zoom in: Parker is an establishment candidate and product of the Northwest Coalition, a powerful group of Black politicians.

  • She has pledged to hire hundreds of cops and embraces the use of the police tactic known as stop-and-frisk.
  • Parker has also proposed calling in the National Guard to shut down the open-air drug markets throughout Kensington, the epicenter of the city's opioid crisis.

The other side: Oh, a former council member, also ran on increasing public safety as the city struggles with gun violence and retail theft.

What they're saying: During her victory speech at a union hall last night in South Philly on Tuesday, Parker said tough decisions are ahead and touched on her top priorities — public safety, year-round public education and affordable housing.

  • The mayor-elect reiterated her campaign pledge to "make Philadelphia the safest, cleanest, greenest big city in the nation with economic opportunity for all."

What's next: Parker will face a series of challenges when she enters office besides public safety, including whether to support the Sixers' bid to build a new Center City arena and public transportation.

  • She'll also select a new police commissioner to lead a department suffering from a significant staffing shortage.
  • And she'll have to work with a City Council with several first-time members and a new president.

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