Street (finally) launches Democratic mayoral campaign, despite questions on voter registration

     Milton Street, brother of a former mayor, formally announces his campaign for Philadelphia mayor Thursday at at New Jerusalem Baptist Church. (Katie Colaneri/WHYY)

    Milton Street, brother of a former mayor, formally announces his campaign for Philadelphia mayor Thursday at at New Jerusalem Baptist Church. (Katie Colaneri/WHYY)

    Milton Street, the brother of former Philadelphia Mayor John Street, has finally formally launched his mayoral bid. However, his campaign in the Democratic primary may be short-lived.

    Having been snowed out twice, Street officially announced his candidacy Thursday evening in a North Philadelphia church, the day after the Inquirer reported he had changed his voter registration to “independent” in March 2012. According to state law, Street must be a registered Democrat to run in the party primary in May.

    Street insists he changed his registration back to “Democrat” in early 2013 and says he has voted as a Democrat in primaries since.

    “So the conclusion is that all is well,” he said. “I voted!”

    But official records contradict that claim. NewsWorks obtained copies of his voting history, which are public records, showing he has voted as an independent six times since April 2012.

    This information makes Street vulnerable to challenges from Democratic opponents who may want to knock him off the ballot.

    “I don’t need to defend anything,” Street said, suggesting the error is merely clerical. “I did everything I was supposed to do.”

    While he remains a candidate, Street told the handful of supporters who gathered at New Jerusalem Baptist Church the crux of his campaign is stopping violence in the city.

    “It impacts our growth,” he said. “How can you have economic development in a high-crime area? Who’s going to invest in a high-crime area?”

    He also took shots at City Council for refusing to call a hearing on the failed deal to sell Philadelphia Gas Works.

    “The tentacles of that decision penetrate deeply into the fibers of our community,” he said.

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