Street, Blackwell among Philly candidates facing nomination petition challenges

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 Nominating petitions of, from left, Milton Street, who is running for mayor; Stephanie Singer, cmapaigning to keep her seat as a Philadelphia commissioner; and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, seeking re-election, have been challenged. (NewsWorks File Photos)

Nominating petitions of, from left, Milton Street, who is running for mayor; Stephanie Singer, cmapaigning to keep her seat as a Philadelphia commissioner; and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, seeking re-election, have been challenged. (NewsWorks File Photos)

Philadelphia mayoral hopeful Milton Street is among those now at risk of being knocked off the May primary ballot after Tuesday’s deadline to file legal challenges to candidates’ nominating petitions.

The challenge against Street, filed by a lawyer for the city’s transport workers’ union, alleges he is not a registered Democrat and does not live in Philadelphia. Street denies both claims and said he has proof to back that up.

However, if his challengers do boot him off the ballot, Street said he does not plan to run as an independent in the fall. He worries he would be outspent by labor groups that are already pouring big money into the mayor’s race.

“You can’t run against the big labor, I don’t care who it is,” Street said. “You would need hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Kevin Greenberger, the lawyer representing the transport workers, said he did not file the challenge on behalf of any mayoral candidate, although the union has endorsed state Sen. Tony Williams. Street alleges Williams would benefit most from having him removed from the ballot.

Eleven others, including Third District City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and seven other Council candidates, are facing challenges to their nominating petitions. Click here to see the full list from the Philadelphia County Board of Elections. 

City Commissioner Stephanie Singer, who is facing a tough re-election, is being challenged on 1,125 of her 1,528 signatures. 

“Our opponents are trying to win in the courthouse what they can’t win in the ballot box,” Singer said in a statement. 

The Court of Common Pleas will start hearing these cases Friday morning.

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