It may not win him the election, but on Thursday long-shot candidate T. Milton Street got a shot in the arm with the endorsement of the city's firefighters' union.
In a move that's sure to stir controversy, Local 22 of the International Association of Firefighters -- with about 2000 active members -- chose Street as their candidate over Mayor Nutter. The union has feuded with Nutter since he first cut seven companies as the recession hit in January 2009. Nutter appealed a contract arbitration award last year, saying it was too expensive and did not give the city enough control over health costs. That appeal is pending.
Street met with the union's executive board Wednesday morning for an hour, said Michael Bresnan, the union's recording secretary. At the meeting, Street promised to restore the seven companies, reactivate all medic units around the clock, and end the temporary deactivation of companies in single shifts -- called rolling brownouts.
As for Street's past misdemeanor conviction on federal tax evasion charges, for which he recently finished a 30 months federal sentence, Bresnan said: "What's the difference? We look at it as criminal what Nutter did to the fire department and the citizens of the city."