Judge Rules Milton Street Can Run for Mayor

That's bad news for Tony Williams.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The Inquirer’s Chris Brennan reports that a judge has ruled that Democratic mayoral candidate Milton Street can run in the May 19th primary.

Joseph Coccio Jr., secretary-treasurer of the SEPTA Transport Workers Union Local 234, had challenged Street’s mayoral candidacy in court, saying he wasn’t eligible to run as a Democrat because he was both a registered Independent and a resident in New Jersey.

Last week, Common Pleas Judge Chris Wogan said Street could stay on the primary ballot as a Democrat even though he was an Independent when he filed nominating petitions. Today, he ruled Street is a resident of Philly, the Inky reports.

What does this mean for the mayor’s race? It’s bad news for state Sen. Anthony Williams (in a race in which everything’s been coming up Williams). Street could pull a few percentage points away from Williams’ total vote count. Both candidates are African-American, and Philadelphians tend to vote along racial lines. Also worth noting: Though Coccio insists that he filed the legal challenge as an individual citizen, his union is backing Williams.

The fact that it’s bad news for Williams, of course, means it’s good news for the other mayoral candidates, particularly former City Councilman Jim Kenney and former District Attorney Lynne Abraham, who are seen as the frontrunners along with Williams.

It’s also arguably good news for residents concerned about violence. Street’s top issue — by far — is violence, which no other candidate has really discussed at length. Perhaps you assume such residents are few and far between, since the city’s annual homicide count has fallen to its lowest point since 1967 under Mayor Michael Nutter. But in a recent survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts, 23 percent of respondents said crime was the top issue facing the next mayor of Philadelphia. The only issue that received a great percentage of votes (32 percent) was education.