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Democrat Cherelle Parker will become Philadelphia’s first female mayor

Democratic mayoral candidate Cherelle Parker visits a polling place in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Democrat Cherelle Parker will be elected the 100th mayor of Philadelphia, becoming the first woman to lead the city.

Parker entered the general election against Republican David Oh, a fellow former city council member, as the overwhelming favorite in the deep-blue city after securing the Democratic nomination in May amid a crowded primary field.

She will succeed Democrat Jim Kenney, who is term-limited. Kenney said he voted for Parker in the primary, saying, “It’s time for a woman of color.”

Much of the primary campaign focused on education and public safety, with Parker calling for an education reform package that would keep schools open longer each day and all year-round. She also campaigned on increasing the size of the city’s police department. However, Parker drew some backlash from progressives during the primary over her support for the use of “stop and frisk” tactics by police as part of their efforts to root out illegal guns and gun violence, so long as the practice follows constitutional guidelines.

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“It’s not an either-or,” Parker said in a debate during the primary. “You will be held accountable, we will also have reform, but we will use every tool in the toolbox to ensure that our city is safer and cleaner and greener.”

In her winning primary campaign, Parker secured high-profile endorsements from influential labor organizations and the city’s Black political establishment. US Reps. Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle, who represent parts of Philadelphia, also backed Parker.

Parker previously served a decade in the Pennsylvania House, before her election to the Philadelphia City Council in 2015. She resigned last year when she entered the race for mayor.

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