Watch CBS News

Cherelle Parker wins Philadelphia Democratic primary for mayor

Two former council members are facing each other to become Philadelphia's 100th mayor
Two former council members are facing each other to become Philadelphia's 100th mayor 02:26

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Cherelle Parker won the Philadelphia Democratic primary for mayor, the Associated Press called the race Tuesday night. 

Parker will face Republican David Oh, who ran unopposed, in November's general election. If Parker beats Oh in November, she would be the first woman to become mayor of Philadelphia.

The winner of the race will become Philadelphia's 100th mayor and replace Mayor Jim Kenney, who has been in office since 2016. 

"I'm so incredibly honored to have earned the Democratic nomination tonight," Parker wrote in a tweet. "It's been a long road, and to see the tireless work of my campaign team, supporters, and family pay off is humbling. I'm looking forward to November and bringing our city together as its 100th mayor."

Parker's campaign said she didn't speak following the winning results due to a dental issue.

"Cherelle looks forward to celebrating with all of her friends and supporters and thanks all of Philadelphia for making history tonight!" her campaign said in a statement issued early Wednesday morning. 

Parker's mentor, former Philadelphia City Council member Marian Tasco, was in attendance at a campaign watch party Tuesday night. For 28 years, Tasco represented the city's Ninth District, covering neighborhoods of Northwest, North and Northeast Philadelphia - the same district Parker represented.

State Sen. Sharif Street, who endorsed Parker in the race, spoke about her victory.   

"She focused on community leaders, local elected officials that understood our community. She didn't worry about what was going on with Hollywood actors, or anybody coming in from out of town," Street told CBS News Philadelphia's Alicia Roberts. "And the numbers of blue collar Philadelphians spoke up," he added. "She talked about keeping people safe, while also providing other services people need."

Parker came out on top in a deep Democratic field of candidates to win the primary. She took a lead early in the night over former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart and never looked back.

AP projects Cherelle Parker to win Philadelphia Democratic primary for mayor; other race results 03:26

As of Tuesday night, Parker has 33.16% of the votes counted so far, or 63,690 total. Rhynhart trailed Parker with 43,119 votes.

Parker also edged out top candidates Helen Gym, Allan Domb and Jeff Brown. 

Parker resigned from Philadelphia City Council in September 2022 to run for mayor. She represented the Ninth Council District, which covers parts of Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia.

Before her time in city council, Parker served the 200th District as a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 2005 to 2015.  

Parker said she will crack down on drug sales in Kensington but came out against a proposed safe injection site in a long Twitter thread after a forum on gun violence. She also wrote she would like to update the Philadelphia Police Department's forensics capabilities and increase the number of body-worn cameras.


Parker's campaign website lists her plans for four issues: safety, education, cleaning and greening Philadelphia and economic opportunity.

Parker's safety plan would include hiring more police officers, both by filing opening vacancies and adding 300 additional foot and bike patrol officers. Parker opposes the idea of defunding the police, according to her website.

Parker is a Philly native and went to public schools in the city her entire life. She was the first person in her family to go to college, earning her Bachelor's Degree from Lincoln University. She later earned her Master's from the University of Pennsylvania.

Who is Democratic Philadelphia mayoral candidate Cherelle Parker? 02:18

Parker started her work in public service in high school when she interned for former City councilmember Marian B. Tasco in a variety of roles.

Parker was endorsed by several political figures in the city, including Rep. Dwight Evans, State Sen. Vincent Hughes, State Sen. Sharif Street and State Sen. Art Haywood, among others. Kenney also voted for Parker in the primary.

Parker was also endorsed by a number of labor unions and advocacy organizations, including IBEW Local 98 and the Building Trades Council.  

Lauren Cristella talks Philadelphia primary election results; AP projects Cherelle Parker as winner 01:21
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.