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May 16, 2023

Cherelle Parker wins Democratic nomination for Philly mayor

The former councilmember is likely to become the first female mayor in the city's history; David Oh ran unopposed in the Republican primary

2023 Election Mayoral Race
cherelle parker philly @cherelleparkerphilly/Instagram

Cherelle Parker is the projected winner of Philadelphia Democratic primary for mayor. Parker, a former city councilmember, led the field of nine candidates late Tuesday, including a 10% lead over second place finisher Rebecca Rynhart.

Cherelle Parker is the projected winner of the Democratic primary on Tuesday night, making her the presumptive 100th mayor of Philadelphia.

After the first batch of votes gave a slight edge to former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart, Parker emerged with the lead, consistently maintaining a 10% advantage over Rhynhart, who finished in second. The Associated Press called the race for her around 11:10 p.m., with an estimated 70% of the votes counted. 

PHILLY ROW OFFICES: Voters tasked with picking nominees for city controller, sheriff and register of wills | PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCIL: Results for every race from Tuesday's primary elections

The votes in nearly 90% of the city divisions had been counted by early Wednesday morning, according to the results posted online by the Philadelphia City Commissioners. The results still need to be certified by the commissioners and the state before Parker officially is declared the winner.

"I'm so incredibly honored to have earned the Democratic nomination tonight," Parker tweeted. "It’s been a long road, and to see the tireless work of my campaign team, supporters, and family pay off is humbling.

"I’m looking forward to November and bringing our city together as its 100th mayor."

Shortly before the AP declaration, the real estate tycoon and former city Councilmember Allan Domb conceded the race. "I don't know who is going to win tonight, but it does not appear to be me," he told reporters, promising to work with the next mayor.

Jeff Brown, the first-time political candidate and owner of several local ShopRites, also conceded the election. Rhynhart bowed out around 11:30 p.m.

While the election was just the primary to determine the candidate who will face Republican nominee David Oh in the general election on Nov. 7, the winner of the Democratic primary will almost certainly win the general election.

In Philadelphia, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republican by about 7-to-1. A Republican hasn't won a mayoral election in the city since 1947, when Bernard Samuel claimed victory in his second and final reelection.

Oh, a former at-large city councilmember, ran unopposed in Tuesday's Republican primary and has been declared the winner of that election.

An exceptionally crowded field of Democrats sought to succeed Mayor Jim Kenney. In the days leading up to the election, the Democratic primary was widely seen as a five-way race between Rhynhart, Brown and former city Councilmembers Parker, Domb and Helen Gym. The most recent polling showed Brown trailing slightly behind the pack, but an April 28 survey showed the five candidates in a statistical tie.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Amen Brown, retired judge James DeLeon, pastor Warren Bloom and unknown candidate Delscia Gray also sought the mayoral office. 

The race is a historic one, as Philly has never elected a woman mayor.

This article has been updated with election results and trends.