Former Philadelphia city councilor and left-wing candidate Helen Gym, a Green New Deal supporter, has lost the Democratic primary in the Philadelphia mayor’s race.
Gym finished third, losing to former City Council member Cherelle Parker, according to Politico. An Emerson College opinion poll conducted before Tuesday’s primary had projected Gym as leading by just 2.3% in a close, eight-way race, where her principal opponents were Parker and former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart.
The race had attracted national attention as a battleground for left-wing ideas. Gym, who first gained attention in 2017 over the removal of a statute of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, was widely regarded as the most left-wing candidate in the race, with her platform’s centerpiece being a $10 billion “Green New Deal for Schools,” a proposal first articulated by several left-wing activist groups that would upgrade all of the city’s public schools to be environmentally friendly, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“We’re going to deliver a municipal Green New Deal for this city that takes on the climate crisis and environmental racism,” said Gym at a rally shortly before the polls opened on Tuesday.
Gym’s platform also included the use of mental health operators instead of police in response to certain emergency calls, as well as a proposal to award city contracts with preference to “Black and Brown” businesses, according to her campaign website. Her campaign was supported by high-profile national left-wing political figures, including independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who campaigned for her in the city, as well as Democratic Mayors Brandon Johnson of Chicago and Michelle Wu of Boston.
“If [Gym] wins, it will build on Brandon Johnson’s historic win in Chicago and provide more proof that people in America’s cities are hungry for candidates who will think big and invest in our communities,” said Maurice Mitchell, the national director of the Working Families Party, a left-wing group affiliated with Gym, to Politico. Ocasio-Cortez, similarly, emphasized the stakes of the election saying, “I always say to my team back home, progressives win in a street fight, and that’s what we’ve got here in Philly today, a street fight.”
Philadelphia has long been recognized as an important city in national politics. As the largest metropolitan area in Pennsylvania, a swing state with 20 electoral college votes, it has played a decisive role in presidential elections, with President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the state over then-President Donald Trump being credited to turnout in the city, which is significantly Democratic.
Gym didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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