What, you thought you had heard the last of former federal prison inmate and state Sen. T. Milton Street Sr.? No chance. Street is out circulating nominating petitions to run in the April 24 Democratic primary election for the state House's 195th District, currently held by rookie state Rep. Michelle Brownlee. Hat-tip to Newsworks, where we saw this first.
Street tells us he hopes to build his campaign on the same platform he used last year to challenge Mayor Nutter in the Democratic primary election -- the need to deal with crime in the city and to help prison inmates re-enter society.
"I think we made a lot of progress," Street said. "But I think we lose all that progress if I don’t stay involved. I think I can do that better as an elected official than as a community activist."
Street was still on supervised release after serving 26 months in federal custody for not paying taxes when he took 24 percent of the vote last May, a healthy showing for a guy recently released from prison and a good way to remind voters in Philadelphia about who he is.
Street said a review of last May's election results showed he did well in the neighborhoods that make up the 195th District -- parts of North Philadelphia, Fairmount, Brewerytown and Mantua. [Here's a map of the district, though the boundaries have changed a little with redistricting plan approved in December.]
Brownlee, who worked for 37 years for the last holder of the 195th District seat, former state Rep. Frank Oliver, gave both a sigh and a laugh when we called her in Harrisburg this afternoon to ask about Street. She said she has not spoken to him or anyone else about his campaign.
"Milton has the right to run, I guess," Brownlee said. "I'm almost sure it will be loads of fun. Let's say that."