Could T. Milton Street Sr., the perennial Philadelphia candidate who once went to jail for unpaid taxes, become the Republican nominee for a seat in the House?
Street and James Jones, the GOP nominee in the Second Congressional District, announced on Facebook that they would declare Tuesday which of them will run against the Democrats' nominee, State Rep. Dwight Evans, for a two-year term.
"After a series of discussions, Street and Jones have joined forces as one to address the issues" of the district, the Sunday posting said. "Either Street or Jones will be Campaign Chair and the other person will be the candidate. . . ."
A former state senator who won 1.68 percent of the vote in last year's Democratic mayoral primary, Street had said he planned to run as an independent. He praised Jones on Monday, but sounded bullish on being the GOP candidate.
Jones "has no name recognition," Street said. "I'm prepared to run. He's willing to drop out. We're going to take a look at who has the best chance of actually tackling the problems in the district."
Jones, a human-resources consultant who was unopposed in the April GOP primary, called Street a "great guy" Monday.
In the Democratic primary, Evans beat then-U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, who was seeking a 12th term as he faced a federal corruption trial. Fattah resigned June 23, two days after a jury convicted him.
Wanda Murren, a Department of State spokeswoman, said candidates can withdraw until Aug. 15 and parties can provide substitute nominees.
Joe DeFelice, the city GOP chairman, said Jones discussed his plans involving Street with party ward leaders Wednesday. DeFelice said he thought the plan was to have Street support Jones for office.
"James is our candidate," DeFelice said.
The heavily Democratic district includes parts of North, Northwest, West, South, and Center City, and Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County. Bill Donnelly, chairman of Montgomery County's GOP, said he learned of the potential candidate swap from a reporter.
"We'll follow what Philadelphia wants to do," he said.
Street, 75, a Republican since January, has a history of migrating between the parties that dates to his tenure in the state Senate in the 1980s. More recently he served 26 months in prison for unpaid taxes on $3 million in income - only to run for mayor, while on supervised release, winning 24 percent of the vote against incumbent Michael Nutter in the Democrats' 2011 primary.
On Nov. 8, the same day as the general election, a special contest also will be held to fill Fattah's seat for the last eight weeks of his term.