Pennsylvania State Rep. Martina White, an outspoken opponent of Philadelphia's soda tax and sanctuary city policies, was elected chairwoman of the city's Republican party less than a week after Mike Meehan announced his resignation.
She is the first woman to lead Philadelphia's Republican City Committee.
"Overtaxed and overburdened families, parents who are seeking a better education for their children, and victims of crime who have fallen prey to the progressive far-left agenda ... We must start with the fundamentals to win elections again and be proactive in connecting with voters while making a positive impact on our communities," White said in a statement.
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Lawrence Tabas, chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, touted her ability to bring "a fresh voice and new perspective" to the party.
"I’m very excited about this new chapter and I’m confident that together we will bring new voters into the fold and keep Pennsylvania red," he said.
White first became a state representative in 2015 at the age of 26. She represents the Bustleton, Millbrook, Parkwood and Somerton sections of Philadelphia, a district formerly held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle. He resigned from the state Legislature in order to enter the U.S. Congress.
Since then, she has challenged the city's soda tax, Mayor Jim Kenney's sanctuary city policy and District Attorney's Larry Krasner's authority.
Over the summer, she introduced a little-known amendment that would have given the state power to prosecute gun cases in Philadelphia if the district attorney's office declined to do so. The amendment initially passed and was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf, but Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said he would not participate in any such policy.
“It appalls me that the attorney general has chosen to play politics and yield to the agenda of aggressive activists rather than the people of Philadelphia who are pleading for help in the fight against gun crime,” White said at the time.
White's predecessor abruptly announced his departure from the Philly GOP party Saturday following historic Democratic victories in the city and surrounding counties last week.
The announcement came just days after Republicans lost one of their two at-large city council seats to a progressive newcomer. Kendra Brooks of the Working Families Party received more votes than both Republican incumbents David Oh and Al Taubenberger in Tuesday's election.
Brooks' victory meant that a third-party candidate will occupy an at-large city council seat for the first time in the city's history.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney slid easily into his re-election victory over little-known Republican Billy Ciancaglini.
Republicans also lost their hold on neighboring Delaware County for the time in generations. Democrats now control county governments in Delaware and Chester counties for the first time since the American Civil War.