Dems counting down to Phila. mayoral primary

May 9, 2011 3:25:42 PM PDT
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was working the crowd at the Fresh Grocer Supermarket in North Philadelphia Monday afternoon. He was reminding folks that there is a primary election a week from Tuesday and asking for support.

"I know that there is still a lot of pain out there and folks are suffering in a variety of ways," said Nutter. "So I am just out and about every day trying to spread the message."

This is one of the sleepiest mayoral primary campaigns in years, and that lack of excitement can translate into light voter turnout.

Still, Nutter has the advantage of incumbancy. But he must also defend his record during difficult economic times.

"Things are starting to get better," said Nutter. "And I'm hopeful, should I be re-elected, that the next four years will be that much better, that much brighter, but still stay focused on the main issues: public safety, education and jobs."

The mayor does not get high marks from his primary opponent, Milton Street. The former state senator is unimpressed with Nutter's performance, especially in fighting crime.

"I clearly don't think that he's addressing the issues of crime in the community," Street told Action News. "Whatever his numbers are, is not the reality of the people out here. What we need in our community is jobs."

Street served 26 months in federal prison for failing to file taxes. And while his run for mayor may have raised eyebrows, he believes he is a popular contender.

"The people in the community don't see it as a joke," said Street. "The people in the community are commending me for trying to represent them. They believe that they should have a choice."

Despite the apparent lack of interest in the May 17th primary, Mayor Nutter is expected to win the nomination. However, Milton Street, always the optimist, says his candidacy is no joke and no one should count him out.