When Cynthia Floyd considered her ballot, she thought of her son.
Jasmond Welcome, 33, was fatally shot in September 2021 in the Hunting Park neighborhood, and no one has been arrested in connection with his killing.
“I just hope that someone who gets in there can solve these murders,” Floyd said after voting in Tuesday’s municipal primary at West Philadelphia High School. “I cry almost every night because I miss him so much,” she added, tearing up. “Mother’s Day was very hard.”
Philadelphians went to the polls on Election Day to select their party’s nominees for mayor, City Council and a host of other elected positions.
Given the city’s political makeup – with registered Democrats outnumbering Republicans 7-to-1 – the winner of Tuesday’s hotly-contested primary is expected to prevail over the lone GOP candidate, David Oh, in November’s general election and succeed term-limited Mayor Jim Kenney.
No clear frontrunner emerged among the nine Democrats in the race. Survey results essentially found that Helen Gym, Rebecca Rhynhart, Cherelle Parker, Allan Domb and Jeff Brown were tied at the top of the pack.
For information about election results, which are expected to begin coming in late Tuesday night, go to metrophiladelphia.com.
Floyd would not reveal her mayoral pick, and she wasn’t alone in keeping her selection secret. But some voters were proud to discuss their preferred candidate.
Liz Harris, of Roxborough, said her top priority is supporting neighborhood public schools, and she decided to cast her ballot for Gym, who rose to prominence as an advocate for public education.
“I think she strives for the ideals that I also strive for,” Harris said, adding that she sends her children to the local public schools.
Beverly Williams, adorned in a Domb T-shirt, took a paid gig handing out literature backing the real estate broker and former City Council member, but she wanted to tell Metro about the merits of Jeff Brown.
She recalled meeting Brown six years ago when she walked into the headquarters of his supermarket company looking for a job. He offered her one on the spot, and, while she did not accept, Williams said she kept in touch with Brown.
“I think he would be an asset and a help to Philadelphia,” said Williams, a gospel artist from South Philadelphia. “I really think that he would embrace what people are saying and get the job done.”
James and Antionette Reese, who live in East Oak Lane, proudly voted for Parker, a former council member and state representative.
“She’s real,” Antonette said. “She’s from the community.” Her husband added, “I think she speaks from the heart.”
Mayoral candidates spent tens of millions of dollars attempting to influence the election, using the money for television advertisements, door-knockers and other purposes.
The campaigning continued on Election Day. A large video screen showing a Parker commercial was set up in a Roosevelt Boulevard median in North Philadelphia.
Workers – volunteer and paid – handed out brochures and suggested ballots to voters as they approached polling places. A longtime Roxborough High School election worker noted that she had never seen more yard signs outside the building.
Several voters indicated that they had not made their final decision until they shortly before they entered the booth, going back-and-forth between two or three candidates.
“I was between a couple of candidates,” said Overbrook resident Meg Kalafski, who settled on Gym.
One woman, who declined to give her name, sat down outside West Philadelphia High School going through the pamphlets, known as political literature. After casting her ballot, she told Metro the print-outs helped her decide.
Aisha White, who voted at Stenton Park in Logan, was swayed by Parker’s ads. “I just like her speech and everything she would do,” she explained.
Away from the mayoral race, Democrats could select five council at-large candidates from a pool of nearly 30 to advance to the general election. There were also competitive primaries in the 7th, 8th and 9th council districts.
Three of the city’s row offices – controller, register of wills and sheriff – were also up for grabs, with multiple viable Democrats running for each position. In addition, a host of candidates appeared on the ballot in statewide and local judicial races.
A few people admitted that the number of candidates left them confused or unsure. The decisions were simpler for GOP voters.
“There weren’t many running,” said Angelina Patete, a Roxborough resident and registered Republican. “I didn’t have many choices.”
The election appeared to be smooth, with no major incidents reported when Metro went to print Tuesday evening.
Jane Roh, a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office, said that the office’s Election Task Force had responded to 16 incidents. A handful will require further investigation, and no arrests have been made, she added.