Parker delivers quasi-victory speech in radio interview after hospitalization

Parker was quick to point out that the election is not over. She’s now focusing on her general election opponent, David Oh.

Cherelle Parker speaks at a podium.

File photo: Mayoral candidate Cherelle Parker takes part in a Democratic primary debate at the WPVI-TV studio in Philadelphia, April 25, 2023. Parker, the Democrat who will almost certainly become Philadelphia's next mayor wants to hire hundreds of additional police officers to walk their beats and get to know residents. She wants to devote resources to recruiting more police and says officers should be able to stop and search pedestrians if they have a legitimate reason to do so. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

The winner of Philadelphia’s Democratic primary for mayor didn’t get to celebrate with supporters at her campaign victory party Tuesday night. Instead, Cherelle Parker experienced a dental issue that required medical attention at the University of Pennsylvania, according to her campaign.

On Wednesday, the campaign said Parker continued to rest at home, keeping “a light schedule” that included meetings with staff and team leaders on the campaign’s next step.

On Thursday, she took to the airwaves, joining WURD’s Solomon Jones for a conversation about what happened and perhaps an opportunity to deliver at least part of that victory speech.

“I apologize to everyone for the medical issue I had to deal with. I put it off from February when it was diagnosed that I had a fracture in a root canal that was done years ago,” Parker said. “They told me I needed it out.”

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She admitted going against medical advice, planning to address the problem after the primary. She held off on surgery until last Friday, according to The Inquirer. It’s not exactly clear what landed Parker back in the hospital instead of celebrating the biggest win of her political career, but dental problems sometimes require immediate attention.

Parker was quick to point out that the election was not over. She’s now focusing on her general election opponent, Republican David Oh, who she’ll face off against in November.

“Someone like me who comes from where I come from, we don’t have the luxury of being able to take everything for granted, so we gotta keep our team going and we have to unify our city,” she said.

She hopes to expand on the key issues she campaigned on during the primary.

“We have to unify around solving the problems that were front and center during this election,” she said. “For me, the platform that didn’t change, no matter the audience I was in front of, that was very important to me to not have one message for the Black community, one message for the white community, one message for the Latino community. No, because everywhere I went, everyone wanted the same thing: a safer, cleaner, greener city with economic opportunity for all. And that’s what we’re going to get accomplished.”

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At the end of the interview, Parker delivered what could have been part of her planned victory speech as she thanked all her supporters and those she ran against.

“Thank you all so much for getting in the arena,” she said. “It’s easy to complain from the outside, but we all rolled our sleeves up, and put it on the line. I want each and every one of them to know that I respect them.”

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