Skip to content
Philadelphia Politics
Link copied to clipboard

Ferrick: Who will challenge Milton Street's party affiliation?

Don't pencil in the figure "six" in referring to the number of Democratic mayoral candidates.

Don't pencil in the figure "six" in referring to the number of Democratic mayoral candidates.

If anyone files a legal challenge to Milton Street's right to run, he will be knocked off the ballot.

As Chris Brennan reported today, Street is now and has been registered as an independent voter for the last four years.  And, the law says that to win a party's nomination, you must be a bona fide member of that party.

Street, as is his wont, brushed aside objections to his standing, saying he changed his registration back to Democrat a while ago.

Street has a track record of being cavalier about fundamental rules (as in, pay your taxes), but what he said in response to questions is exactly opposite what official voting records kept by the City Commissioners show.

Street was registered as a Democrat until March 7, 2012 when he changed his registration to independent. He's voted in the last six elections -- primary and general -- as an independent voter.

If he wanted to run as a Democrat, he should have changed his registration months ago. But, all the official records show he did not. Election law experts told me it is too late for Street to remedy the situation by going into the Election Bureau and changing back to a Democrat.

The problem? The affidavit he signed and handed in with his nominating petitions, swearing that he was a Democrat.

What if someone doesn't challenge Street in a court of law? His name will remain on the ballot, despite its obvious defect. But, surely someone will want to rid the race of Milton Street. The most likely candidate is state Sen. Tony Williams (or one of his supporters) on the belief that Street would siphon off the votes of blacks that would otherwise go to him.

The deadline for filing challenges is Tuesday. After that, a panel of Common Pleas judges will hold hearings on objections.

One additional note: A streak of independence runs in the Street family. His younger brother, former Mayor John Street, changed his registration from Democratic to non-affiliated -- another name for independent -- in April 2011 and remains unaffiliated with any party.