T. Milton Street, the former state senator released from federal custody in November after serving 26 months for not paying taxes, made official this afternoon his run for mayor in the May 17 Democratic primary election. Street, standing in the bed of a pickup truck near at SEPTA station at 52nd and Market streets, challenged Mayor Nutter to a debate and then predicted he would not be taken up on the offer.
"He will not stand up in front of the voters of Philadelphia and debate Milton Street," Street declared. "And I will tell you why: Because I am pregnant with information. And I am prepared in any debate to wax eloquently all up and down."
Nutter's campaign later declined to comment on the challenge.
Street again said he plans to mobilize the 300,000 ex-offenders in the city to help him drive a campaign on a shoe-string budget via cell phone text messages, Facebook and Twitter. His primary plan as mayor is to hire 3,000 people to patrol neighborhoods, claiming the money saved on local prison costs from prevented crimes will pay their salaries.
Street today claimed to be the victim of media attacks meant to "disrupt" his campaign.
"Let me tell you guys something: I'm taking the heat," Street said. "Oh yeah, they're coming at me, scandalizing my name, calling me all kinds of things. But I don’t care if you’re with me. Because together, our numbers are too great."
Street was joined by Malik Aziz of the Ex-Offender's Association of Pennsylvania, who implored people to sign Street's nominating petitions to get him on the primary ballot. The ex-offender group last week staged a protest as Nutter gave his annual speech to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.