Exactly three weeks out from the Democratic primary, Cherelle Parker racked up another major endorsement, this time from fellow Northwest Philadelphia native and former City Council member Derek Green, who suspended his own campaign almost two weeks ago.
Green endorsed Parker, his former Council colleague, at a press conference outside City Hall Tuesday morning, saying she is the most qualified and best-equipped candidate to address the city’s pressing issues related to public safety and poverty.
“I started to think, ‘Who has the ability to really say the things that need to be said that may not be the most popular but are needed to reduce gun violence in the city?’” Green said Tuesday. “When (Philadelphians) go into the voting booth three weeks from today, I know they will make the decision that I made – Cherelle Parker should be the next mayor of the City of Philadelphia.”
Parker, who previously received endorsements from U.S. Reps. Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle and several labor and local leaders, said Green’s “knowledge and passion for the city cannot be denied.”
“He made everyone running (for mayor) better by helping us see things differently,” Parker said Tuesday. “Running with Derek at my side will strengthen our campaign from a policy perspective and in showing our unity as we build a citywide coalition that is necessary to ensure that we make Philadelphia the safest, cleanest, and greenest big city in the nation.”
With a long list of Democratic politicians backing her campaign, Parker pushed back on the notion that she is the Democratic Party establishment’s “hand-picked” candidate and that her mayorship would perpetuate more of the same chumminess between self-selected groups of political insiders.
“I am not hand-picked. I am homegrown,” Parker said. And I am unapologetic about being prideful.”
Parker alluded to Helen Gym’s $10 billion plan to modernize the city’s schools, stating that she won’t be a mayor with a “savior complex.”
“There is no one else running at this moment who has the intergovernmental experience that I have to do this job. Some folks can introduce plans that appear to be very lofty and ambitious and they make you feel good … but Cherelle Parker, I am the only candidate in this race who understands that Philadelphia cannot do it alone,” Parker said.
Green said he sat down with other Democratic mayoral candidates Rebecca Rhynhart and Allan Domb before ultimately making the decision to support Parker. He said he did not consider other leading candidates, including Gym and Jeff Brown.