Is this odd election season about to turn even stranger? Former Mayor John Street visited the Philadelphia City Commission offices today to switch his voter registration from Democrat to independent. That follows former mayoral candidate Tom Knox, who switched from Democrat to independent last Thursday.
Knox, who toyed with running as an independent for mayor in the November general election but endorsed Nutter in February, told us he changed his registration so that he could run as an independent if T. Milton Street Sr. -- John Street's brother -- wins the Democratic primary.
“Just in the case of the long-shot that Milton Street beats Michael Nutter, I will then run,” Knox said, adding that he still supports Nutter and will go back to being a Democrat if he wins the primary.
We're waiting to hear from John Street about his voter registration change. Today's date may provide a clue. To run as an independent in the Nov. 8 general election, a Democrat must "disaffiliate" from his political party by the deadline to register to vote in the May 17 primary election. That deadline is today.
An independent candidate would also need at least 1,845 signatures on nominating petitions by Aug. 1 to land a spot on the ballot. That number is 2 percent of the votes of the last citywide election winner -- District Attorney Seth Williams, with 92,273 votes in 2009.
UPDATE, 6 p.m. - We heard back from Street, who said the switch is “simply a means of keeping a variety of options available as a matter of good politics.”
Street said friends have been asking him to consider a run.
“My lack of interest in serving as Mayor (again) or any public office is well documented,” Street said via email. “However...?"
Meanwhile, Nutter said he doesn’t know what Street is up to with the registration change.
“It’s a free country and people have to make decisions for themselves as to what they want to do,” Nutter added.