T. Milton Street Sr.'s path to appear on an Election Day ballot may pass through a Philadelphia courtroom for the third time in five years.
Street, a former state senator who served time in federal prison for unpaid taxes, and ran for mayor in 2011 and 2015, announced Monday that he will run as an independent for the Second Congressional District seat in the Nov. 8 general election.
Just one problem: Street has been a registered Republican since January.
The Pennsylvania Election Code says independent candidates must leave their political parties at least 30 days before the primary election to be eligible to appear on the general election ballot.
The affidavit candidates must sign to run for office makes note of that.
"I'm familiar with that," Street said Tuesday. "No worries. If challenged, I would argue that the state could not keep me from running for federal office if I file the required number of signatures."
Street, 77, must collect by Aug. 1 nomination petitions signed by 3,623 people registered to vote in the district, which covers parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County.
Any registered voter in the district has legal standing to file a challenge to Street's candidacy.
Already on the ballot are State Rep. Dwight Evans, who defeated U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's bid for a 12th term in the April 26 Democratic primary, and Republican James Jones.
Michael Dineen, Evans' campaign manager, dismissed Street Tuesday as a "silly sideshow."
Dineen said it was "premature" to predict if Evans would challenge Street's candidacy, since Street is not on the ballot.
"It's not surprising Mr. Street is unaware of the law, and it's questionable whether he's even aware of what party he belongs to, after a career in which he's been all over the map in his political allegiances during his losing campaigns for various offices," Dineen said.
Jones on Monday congratulated Street for "throwing his hat in the ring to run for Congress."
Street has reason to feel confident about defending and defeating a legal challenge to his candidacy.
Then-Mayor Michael Nutter in 2011 challenged Street's candidacy in the Democratic primary election for mayor, claiming that Street was a New Jersey resident and had not lived in the city for three years, as required by the City Charter for candidates.
Street, who was still on supervised release after spending 26 months in prison, won that case.
Street went on to take 24 percent - 36,030 votes - in the primary.
An officer from a union supporting State Sen. Anthony H. Williams in the 2015 Democratic primary for mayor challenged Street's candidacy last year, also claiming that Street was a New Jersey resident, and noting that he was listed as a registered independent when he filed to enter the race.
Street, representing himself, won that case, too.
Street took just 1.68 percent - 3,937 votes - in the 2015 primary.