Milton Street on Why He’s Challenging Dwight Evans

He's running for the seat that will soon be vacated by Chaka Fattah.

Milton Street and a supporter at a rally outside District Attorney Seth Williams' office last year. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

Milton Street at a rally outside District Attorney Seth Williams’ office last year. (Photo » Dan McQuade)

T. Milton Street, Sr. is running for office. Again. This time, the former state-senator, federal inmate, and two-time candidate for mayor will attempt to represent the second congressional district in the U.S. House.

Street announced his candidacy via Facebook yesterday morning. While he has historically run as a Democrat, Street is running this time as an independent.

The district is overwhelmingly Democratic, and rated as “safe” for Democrats by Ballotpedia. Current representative Chaka Fattah typically garnered well-over 80 percent of the vote in each election. His re-election hopes were dashed when, while fighting federal corruption charges filed last summer, he lost to longtime state Rep. Dwight Evans, who is heavily favored in November over Republican nominee James Jones. This safety for one party, however, is a major impetus for Street’s run. Street has been a thorn in the side to the establishment previously; he notably garnered 24 percent of the vote while running against incumbent Michael Nutter in the 2011 Democratic primary for Philadelphia mayor.

“Most of the problems I’ve been confronting throughout my political career are a result of the one-party system,” said Street in an interview with Philadelphia magazine, referring to the overwhelming security that party-backed Democrats running for office enjoy. He said that without competition, it is hard to keep elected officials accountable.

Street, who has “nothing against Evans,” is hoping to create a competitive race in November. “I’m not suggesting I can beat Evans,” said Street, whose main goal is to present an alternative to voters.

In addition to governmental accountability and competition, Street’s platform is based upon a familiar theme of reducing violence in the city, overhauling school funding, and economic empowerment. He plans to release a video tomorrow on Facebook outlining his policy proposals and plans in detail.

Dwight Evans’ campaign manager Michael Dineen emailed Philadelphia magazine saying that “the people of the 2nd District deserve the seriousness in their candidates equal to the seriousness in which they lead their lives, and not the silly side shows that Milton Street brings to the table.”

Street recently made headlines for his meetings with Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Street is currently in the signature-gathering stage of his campaign. In order to appear on the ballot in November, he must collect 3,623 signatures to his petition. While he doesn’t currently have a campaign infrastructure ready, he said that he doesn’t foresee any challenges to getting to that number. A formal announcement of his candidacy is coming in the next two weeks.