WHO ARE PHILADELPHIA'S rising young female political stars? Here are a few local women - both in and out of elected office - with the skills to go after top political jobs.
Wendy Beetlestone - A partner at the Hangley Aronchik law firm and former general counsel for the school district, Beetlestone, 48, is a quiet force among Democratic women. She just hosted a series of policy discussions among gubernatorial candidates and influential women. A future candidate? "I'd definitely consider the right opportunity," she said.
Anne Dicker - This Democratic political activist has already launched two campaigns for state office, the most recent a failed bid last year for the state Senate seat once held by Vince Fumo. In the other, in 2006, she came in second in a three-way race for the state House. Dicker, 36, says that her only campaign plans are to run for committeewoman in Mount Airy. Might she have her eye on a bigger office again some day?
State Rep. Cherelle Parker - A talented state representative with the power to deliver an inspirational speech, Parker represents the 200th District, which includes parts of Chestnut Hill, Germantown and Mount Airy. She formerly worked as an aide for Councilwoman Marian Tasco and is reportedly interested in that Council seat if Tasco leaves office. Could an even bigger office - like mayor? - be in her future. Parker, 36, says: "I don't write anything off."
Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez - One of the three freshman members on City Council, Quinones-Sanchez, 40, has quickly shown that she's a strong advocate for residents of her district, which covers Kensington, Frankford and parts of the Northeast. Don't count her out for bigger things. After all, the city's current and its most-recent mayor did come from the Council floor.
Kimberly Turner - The chief of staff to state Rep. Dwight Evans certainly knows her way around the Statehouse, having worked for Evans since 1993. Turner, 41, says that her No. 1 job now is caring for her 1-year-old daughter. As for a run for office? Turner says that she learned long ago never to say never in politics. *