State Rep. Martina White, who took control of Philadelphia’s Republican Party amid turmoil 2½ years ago, said Wednesday that she will not seek a full term as GOP chair.
Republican ward leaders elected Vince Fenerty, who resigned in 2016 from the Philadelphia Parking Authority amid back-to-back sexual harassment scandals, Wednesday evening.
White said she had been chosen after the 2019 general election to “work toward rebuilding the party across Philadelphia.”
“I am proud of the record I have been able to build as chair by uniting our committee members behind common goals,” she said in a statement. “We have recruited strong candidates, improved fundraising, increased communications with city residents, registered new voters in our party, and put forth a commonsense issues agenda that focuses on putting the shared concerns of Philadelphia’s families first — things like public safety, fighting inflationary spending policies, affordability of taxes, and safe and open public schools.”
White did not respond to a request for comment.
Republicans make up just 11% of the city’s registered voters, while Democrats account for 76%. Independents and members of smaller parties make up the remaining 13%.
The party’s last citywide election, for district attorney, pitted Republican defense lawyer A. Charles “Chuck” Peruto against Democratic incumbent Larry Krasner, who easily won.
The party’s last chair, Mike Meehan, resigned less than two years into his term after what he called a “preposterous” general election for Republicans in 2019. The party lost a City Council at-large seat it had held for seven decades, and its mayoral nominee could not crack 20% of the vote, while the incumbent Democrat, Mayor Jim Kenney, didn’t even actively campaign.
White was overwhelmingly elected to replace Meehan a week after that election. She first won a special election to represent her Northeast Philadelphia district in the state House in 2015 and is now running unopposed in November’s general election for another term.