Cherelle Parker, a Democrat who held office at the state and local levels after first becoming involved in politics as a teenager, was elected as Philadelphia’s 100th mayor on Tuesday, becoming the first woman to hold the office.
Parker, 51, prevailed over a crowded field of Democrats in the May primary election and was heavily favored over Republican David Oh in the city, a Democratic stronghold. She will replace Democrat Jim Kenney, who was ineligible for re-election due to term limits.
She championed the promise of making Philadelphia the “safest, cleanest and greenest major city in the country, providing access to economic opportunity for all.”
Parker, who served as a state representative for Northwest Philadelphia for 10 years before being elected to the City Council in 2015, touted herself as a leader whose government experience would allow her to address gaping problems in the city.
“We cannot solve these problems alone,” she said in a previous interview. “We need federal, state and local governments, as well as the private sector and philanthropic communities, to help us ensure public health and safety.”
This is a recent update. AP’s earlier story follows below.
Voters on both ends of Pennsylvania will decide Tuesday who will lead The elections in the state’s most populous counties could help shape the way Democrats talk about crime, progressive policies and abortion in the political arena.
The results in Philadelphia and Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, will set the tone for 2024, when the state will be a competitive presidential state with candidates learning lessons from how Democrats think crime and the strength of the progressives in local races. into the next election cycle.
In Philadelphia, the country’s sixth-largest city, voters will choose a new mayor between Democrat Cherelle Parker and Republican David Oh.
The 51-year-old Parker, a former state legislator and former city council member, is considered the favorite to win the heavily Democratic stronghold. Her tough-on-crime and moderate approach resonated with voters in a crowded primary in May.
Oh, 63, also a former City Council member, has built a broad coalition in public office and emphasized the need for an outsider to address civic issues such as public safety and quality of life, from broken streetlights to potholes to garbage collection.
The candidates are vying to replace Democrat Jim Kenney, who cannot seek re-election because of term limits.
Across Western Pennsylvania, voters are choosing between progressive Democrat Sara Innamorato and Republican Joe Rockey for their next Allegheny County executive.
Innamorato, 37, is a former state lawmaker who resigned to take local office. She pushed to modernize county government and create a community-driven agency, and advocated for progressive policies such as a public health approach to public safety, affordable and dignified housing, and a restructured workforce. She has also addressed national issues such as abortion and voting rights that can be protected at the local level.
Rockey, 59, is a retired chief risk officer for PNC Bank who touted his business expertise as an ability to manage the budget and workforce. He identified public safety, jobs and taxes as the top concerns of voters and refused to let specific ideologies guide decisions at the county executive level. He tried to appeal to moderate voters.
Although Allegheny County leans Democratic, it narrowly elected a Republican to the position when it was founded in 1999.
County voters will also decide between a 25-year incumbent and the county’s top public defender in a race for district attorney that is a rematch of the May Democratic primary in which Matt Dugan defeated longtime incumbent Steve Zappala. After a late campaign, Zappala received enough write-in votes in the Republican primary to run as that party’s candidate in the general election.
Dugan, 44, has called for reform of the office and pushed for new leadership. He emphasized that low-level, nonviolent offenders should be diverted into mental health and substance abuse programs rather than being dragged through the criminal justice system. He said this would allow prosecutors to focus on violent crimes and also help break the cycle of recidivism.
Zappala has criticized these proposals, highlighting his achievements and career in office and advocating for prosecuting minor crimes so they don’t spiral out of control. He said his opponent was only offering “empty promises, empty assurances.”