T. Milton Street Sr., the former state senator who served time in federal prison for unpaid taxes, will remain on the May 19 Democratic primary election ballot for mayor, according to the state Commonwealth Court.
A panel of three judges -- Bonnie Brigance Leadbettter, Renee Jubelirer Cohn and Patricia A. McCullough -- shot down an appeal that said Street should be removed from the ballot because he was registered as an independent when he filed on March 10 to run as a Democrat.
"There was never any doubt in my mind," said Street, who represented himself in the case, of his victory. "The law was clear. But in politics we do what we do."
Attorney Kevin Greenberg had challenged Street's candidacy in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Joseph Coccio Jr., treasurer of the Transit Workers Union, Local 234. Coccio's union has endorsed another Democrat, state Sen. Anthony H. Williams, for mayor.
Common Pleas Judge Chris Wogan ruled on March 25 in Street's favor, rejecting the request to remove him from the ballot due to his party registration. Wogan also rejected a challenge to Street's residency in the city.
Street, who ran for mayor as a Democrat in 2011 while under supervised release from federal prison, changed his party registration to independent to run for a state House seat in 2012.
He testified in Common Pleas Court that he had mailed in a form to change his registration back to Democrat after his 2012 campaign and did not know last month that he was still listed in city records as a registered independent.
Street, who has not held elected office in three decades, spent 26 months in federal prison for unpaid taxes on $3 million in income. He won 24 percent of the primary vote in 2011 while trying to defeat Mayor Nutter's bid for a second term.