PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The losing candidates in Philadelphia’s Democratic mayoral primary met with the winner on Wednesday for a “unity breakfast.” All pledged to help nominee Cherelle Parker move the city forward.
Parker had high praise for her primary election opponents as she made overtures toward rebranding them as allies.
“Each and every one left their own indelible mark in this election,” Parker said.
Parker greeted them at Bleu Brooke restaurant in Overbrook and could be heard telling them, “I can’t do this without you.” Speaking with reporters, later, Parker she said she would always be willing to listen to them.
“While we may not always agree on the path we take, I will be very intentional about making sure we figure out a way to work together,” Parker said.
“We all have shared values.”
There is speculation about the roles some of them might have in a Parker mayoral administration — especially her former City Council colleagues Derek Green and Maria Quinones Sanchez, who endorsed Parker after dropping out of the race.
Sanchez says that notion may be premature.
“I was not on a job search,” she said. “I was on a mission.”
None of the former candidates had immediate plans for their future. They all seemed to be in good spirits — even Jeff Brown, who poured millions of dollars of his own money into the race and finished in fifth place.
“It was very interesting. I got to meet lots of people. Yeah, I’m glad I did it,” Brown said of his campaign.
There were a lot of jokes about the seemingly endless stream of mayoral forums and debates peppered throughout the months leading up to the May 16 primary election.
“I don’t think I’ll ever look at a yes-or-no question the same way again,” said Green.
And there was some hand-wringing about low voter turnout in the primary. Philadelphia voters will play a crucial role in November’s statewide judicial elections, so unity around the Democratic Party ticket is as important as unifying to solve the city’s problems — which former candidates such as Allan Domb seemed willing — and eager — to do.
“Cherelle, whatever I can do to help, I’m here for you,” Domb siad. “Please let me know.”
Only Rebecca Rhynhart did not attend the breakfast, but she expressed unity from a distance. Her campaign said she was out of town on a previously scheduled trip, and that she also pledges her support for Parker.