Former state Sen. Milton Street announces candidacy for mayor

Former state representative and state senator T. Milton Street announced in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon that he intends to seek this city's highest office this year.

Milton Street speaks during a mayoral debate

Milton Street speaks during a mayoral debate, Monday, May 4, 2015, at Temple University in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

This article originally appeared on The Philadelphia Tribune.

Former state representative and state senator T. Milton Street announced in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon that he intends to seek this city’s highest office this year.

“I have decided to run for mayor in the November election,” Street’s post said.

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He promised to announce his plan to end gun violence 11 a.m. on Saturday at First Immanuel Baptist Church in North Philadelphia.

Street, brother of former Mayor John Street and uncle of state Sen. Sharif Street, has joined the race too late to get on either party’s primary election ballot so he will have to run a write-in campaign. 

The Democratic candidates for mayor in the primary race are incumbent Jim Kenney, state Sen. Anthony Williams and former City Controller and state Rep. Alan Butkovitz. The Republican candidate for mayor is Billy Ciancaglini. 

Street is a regular on the campaign circuit.

The man who began his career as a hot dog vendor has sought election to the mayor’s office, the state House, the state Senate and Congress as elections have come up — except for when he was in prison.

This campaign will be Street’s fourth run for the mayor’s office in 12 years. He briefly campaigned for the office in 2007 before he withdrew to run for an at-large seat on City Council. He ran again in 2011, and lost to then-incumbent Mayor Michael Nutter but secured 25% of the vote. The results of the 2011 election convinced Street he had enough clout to run again in 2015 when he was one of five candidates in the Democratic primary; Kenney won that year and Williams received the second highest amount of votes. 

Street won two campaigns early in his political career. He was elected to the state House in 1978, representing the 181st District. And he was elected to the state Senate in 1980. In a move that was shocking at the time, Street switched political affiliations from Democrat to Republican, which gave the GOP control of the House.

Street unsuccessfully challenged Congressman Bill Gray in 1982. He then lost his reelection as state senator in 1984.

In 2008, in between mayoral campaigns, Street was convicted of three counts of tax evasion for years 2002, 2003 and 2004. He was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison.

He challenged Congressman Dwight Evans in 2016 and lost.

Street was one of several candidates to seek election to the 181st state House District in the Democratic primary in 2018; he lost to Malcolm Kenyatta, who went on to win the seat in the general election. 

During his most recent campaign for the state House, Street told the Tribune that he has been working as an Uber driver.

Street is eligible to run as an independent candidate for mayor, as long as he is not registered with either major political party. He has to submit nominating petitions and garner 3,226 signatures by Aug. 1. 

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