Former Mayor John Street, a primary critic of Mayor Nutter's job performance, says he has decided against running for mayor or City Council at-large as an independent this year. Street had toyed with the idea for months, clearly enjoying the platform it gave him to attack Nutter on issues like property tax increases and a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
Street said he encountered "a great deal of very enthusiastic support" for the notion of seeking public office again. But he enjoys the life he is leading after 28 years in local government, teaching at Temple University and traveling around the world.
"I decline to run not because I feel too old or lack the energy," Street said in an e-mail. "Frankly I have never felt better and maintain an intense passion for local government. I intend to stay active and will do so in a very direct and organized way which I will announce shortly."
We pressed him for details on that last bit but he played coy.
Street said he continues to coach Karen Brown, the Democratic city committeewoman recruited by the Republican City Committee this year to run for mayor. He describes Brown as "sincere , enthusiastic and hard working a candidate I have ever seen."
"She deserves the full support of the Republican Party which could be considerable if the powers in that party decide to cooperate in her effort to make the general election a competitive and worthwhile experience for the citizens of our city," Street added.
Street's brother, former state Sen. T. Milton Street Sr., challenged Nutter in the May 18 Democratic primary election. Street, who recently served 26 months in federal prison for not filing taxes, won 24 percent of the vote.
Nutter is on vacation this week. His campaign just released this statement: "Mayor Nutter wishes former Philadelphia Mayor John Street in the best in his current and future endeavors."