Cherelle Parker, Phialdelphia, Black, mayor

Cherelle Parker Took Control of Her Narrative To Become Philadelphia’s First Female Mayor

Parker's victory continues a 76-year streak of Democrats winning the city. She will replace Mayor Jim Kenney.

Philadelphia elected its first female mayor, Cherelle Parker – and she’s Black.

The Democratic incumbent, who went up against Republican candidate David Oh, received 224,142 votes to her opponent’s 74,258. Parker will replace Mayor Jim Kenney, who has already served two terms. Her four-year term begins in January 2024.

Political races can be battlefields where candidates risk having their past experiences held against them like ammo. But for Parker, authenticity was essential to taking control of her narrative as a mayoral candidate. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Democrat said at the Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall on Nov. 7, “I wouldn’t allow anybody else to attempt to weaponize my humble beginnings against me.”

Parker, the city’s 100th mayor, added, “My real-life lived experience was closest to the people who are feeling the most pain right now in our city. … People were yearning for authenticity.”

Her political platform, which aims to crack down on crime and keep schools open year-round, became a reality because of women in city politics, who Parker said paved the way. “I’m only here today because those women decided I was worthy enough to sit at their feet and learn,” the news outlet reported the new mayor said before voting at the Masjidullah mosque on the morning of the Nov. 7 election.

“So anyone who’s watching today, you need to know I don’t arrive here by myself. I didn’t pull myself up by my bootstraps. There was a community and a village of people who lifted me up.”

Parker’s political opponent, Republican David Oh, conceded on the night of Nov. 7, “The voters have spoken, and Cherelle Parker is the 100th mayor of Philadelphia.”

“So I congratulate her. I wish her well. It is her responsibility now, and we will all support her to make her the most successful mayor that this city has seen because that’s what’s in the public interest.”

The news outlet also reported that a Republican has not won for the past 76 years.