Two Black Women Make History In Mayor Races: Cherelle Parker Is Philly’s First Female Mayor, Sheila Jackson Lee Headed For Runoff

by Gee NY
Cherelle Parker (L) and Sheila Jackson Lee.

Two accomplished politicians are causing a major stir in the mayoral elections across US states. Cherelle Parker and Sheila Jackson Lee are etching some serious marks on America’s political history.

In a groundbreaking triumph for Philadelphia, Cherelle Parker secured a historic victory in the mayoral race, emerging as the city’s first female mayor.

Parker, a former city councilwoman and state representative, defeated Republican David Oh with an overwhelming 74.5 percent to 25.5 percent margin, marking a significant milestone in the city’s political history.

Born to a single teenage mother and raised by her grandparents, Parker, 51, expressed her gratitude for the support that contributed to her success.

In her victory speech, she acknowledged the collective effort, stating:

“I am not superwoman. I make it look super easy because I have a great village.”

The mayor-elect, set to take office in January 2024 as Philadelphia’s 100th mayor, highlighted her commitment to public health, safety, and fostering self-sufficiency during her address.

“We’re gonna make sure that we put people on the path to self-sufficiency,” Parker declared, outlinging the city’s top priorities.

Facing the challenge of a crowded field of Democrats in the primary election, Parker emerged victorious, securing 33 percent of the vote and outpacing former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart, who finished in second place with 22.6 percent.

The historic win prompted congratulatory messages, with term-limited Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney praising Parker’s achievement.

“Congratulations to mayor-elect Cherelle Parker on this historic milestone in her extraordinary career of public service,” Kenney remarked, expressing his anticipation of a smooth transition.

Meanwhile, in Houston, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee moved one step closer to becoming the city’s first Black female mayor.

The Associated Press reported that she finished second behind state Sen. John Whitmire, a fellow Democrat, in a competitive field of 17 candidates.

Jackson Lee secured 36 percent of the vote compared to Whitmire’s 43 percent, falling short of the 50 percent threshold for an outright victory.

The result triggers a runoff election scheduled for December 9, where Jackson Lee will face Whitmire in a bid to secure the mayoral seat.

Despite facing an uphill battle, with a University of Houston poll indicating Whitmire’s lead at 51 percent to Jackson Lee’s 33 percent, the congresswoman reiterated her commitment to helping families in need, prioritizing public safety, job creation, and serving the diverse population of Houston.

The polling suggests a nuanced division among voters, with Jackson Lee holding stronger support among Black Houstonians and Democratic voters, while Whitmire garners more significant backing from White, Latino, and Republican voters.

The upcoming runoff will determine the final outcome, shaping the political landscape of Houston’s mayoral leadership.

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