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Did Cherelle Parker pull out of a mayoral town hall? Depends who you ask

Philadelphia mayoral candidates back on the campaign trail
Philadelphia mayoral candidates back on the campaign trail 02:21

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Democratic mayoral candidate, Cherelle Parker, was absent from a town hall Thursday focused on gun violence. While the candidate's name was on the itinerary, she was not there due to a "scheduling conflict," event organizers said.

However, her campaign was adamant Thursday that she was never scheduled to be there. 

Parker's campaign told CBS News Philadelphia that they "never committed to participate in a forum hosted by St. Rita's of Cascia" and that "any notion that she pulled out of this event is factually inaccurate."  

The town hall at the National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia in South Philadelphia was set for 1:30 p.m. and was advertised to include Parker and her opponent, former Councilmember David Oh, who is running as a Republican in the general election.

The forum was an opportunity to give candidates a chance to share their platforms on the issue, as well as hear from members of the community.

Oh participated on Thursday.

Organizers said Parker's campaign told them Thursday she has a scheduling conflict. The shrine's website was still promoting the event as to include both Parker and Oh, and the website still had Parker's name as of Thursday afternoon.

Organizers also told CBS News Philadelphia that they are working to have Parker at an event "in the future."  

Two weeks ago, Parker and Oh's campaigns confirmed she would attend the event, organizers said.

Parker missed her victory party after winning the Democratic mayoral primary because she needed an emergency root canal, according to her campaign.

Her first public appearance after winning the primary was at the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists' Media Professional Awards.

When reporters asked in late August about a possible debate with her opponent, Parker said, "My team's process of coordinating organizations and community-based entities across the city about scheduling upcoming engagements in the form of town hall meetings and other structures or mechanisms so that we can have engagement and I expect that to come through after Labor Day. We have never responded that we would not engage in any sort of debate or communication relative to the general election."

A radio debate is set for Oct. 26 at 8 a.m. on KYW Radio. 

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