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Ed Brown Becomes First Black Mayor Of Upper Darby, PA

Ed Brown has been elected as the first Black mayor of Upper Darby, replacing Republican mayor Brian Burke.


Ed Brown, a Pennsylvania Democrat, has become Upper Darby’s first Black mayor. He assumes office following the tenure of former Republican mayor Brian Burke, who had served as the mayor of Upper Darby since 2019. However, Burke’s switch to the Republican party in 2022 led to a loss of substantial voter support, ultimately opening the door for a Democratic successor, WHYY News reported.

“We have a lot of diversity in our township,” said Brown. “So for me to be the first African American to be elected mayor by the constituents — by the community, I consider that a huge honor and that’s one that I take very seriously and will hold very near dear to my heart.” Brown’s appointment comes only three months after Cherelle Parker was elected as Philadelphia’s first woman mayor. Brown previously defeated vice president of city council Laura Wentz in the mayoral primary race. Since launching his bid for candidacy, Brown has promoted a four-year agenda to increase fiscal responsibility in the city and developed a five-point action plan to improve the Upper Darby district. 

“I want to ensure quality and efficient municipal services to address the needs of the community,” he told WWYY News in May 2023. “I want to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing. I want to establish safe and attractive neighborhoods. I want to enhance the resources for individuals, families and community growth. And I want to create economic growth by investing in the business sector.” In addition to being elected into mayoral office, Brown currently resides as President of the Upper Darby School District Board of Directors.

As mayor, Brown plans to transform Upper Darby, which is Pennsylvania’s eighth largest municipality. One of his core goals is to promote safety through his support of affordable housing measures, an idea that many voters endorsed as well. “Safety is first. Safety is paramount. It’s important that people have a sense of security in their home, in their community — the ones who work in Upper Darby and the ones who worship in Upper Darby — people need to feel like they’re safe in their community,” said Brown.

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