For months, the six Democrats running for mayor of Philadelphia have been on a treadmill of public forums, debates, and meet-and-greets — chewing on a familiar slate of issues.
So, in an effort to break out of the well-worn political discourse, I’ve been having casual conversations with the candidates about their lives as well as a few pet issues.
Finally, I speak to former Pennsylvania state Sen. T. Milton Street.
Although his younger brother, John F. Street, served as mayor of Philadelphia from 2000 to 2008, the elder Street says he wants to run for the city’s highest office on his own merits.
“I don’t want to use John Street’s success as mayor to propel me forward,” he said. “If I don’t have the skill set on my own, then I don’t deserve to be mayor.”
Street also addressed criticism over some past transgressions, including a stint in prison for failing to pay taxes, a time in his life he said he doesn’t regret.
“Out of all the experiences I’ve had in my life, going to prison is one I would never change,” he said.
He added that his time among fellow convicts helped shape his political outlook and gave him a background that no other candidate for Philadelphia mayor has.
“If every person who’s involved in the political process had that experience, everything would change about them.”
The Pennsylvania primary election will take place on Tuesday, May 19th.