Using a 70-year-old Horn & Hardart coffee tin as tradition dictates, three Common Pleas judges oversaw the random bingo-style selection of ballot positions for the May primaries for mayor, sheriff and other elected offices yesterday.
If top ballot slot were the deciding factor — which it isn’t — Michael Nutter would be a one-term-and-done mayor while the next Philadelphia sheriff would be John Kromer, who’s running on a platform of eliminating the office.
“It’s certainly exciting when everybody claps for you when you win the first position,” said Kromer campaign manager Dave Zega.
Meanwhile, Nutter campaign spokeswoman Sheila Simmons, noting that he was third on the ballot in his successful 2007 primary run, said, “It happens, but it won’t have any impact on our focus of talking to voters about the mayor’s accomplishments.”
In a crowded field for Democrat at-large council seats, incumbents Bill Greenlee drew first, Bill Green is buried halfway down the list and Wilson Goode Jr.’s name will appear 20th out of 20. “It takes a little pressure off, but I’m not going to stop doing what I’ve been doing,” Greenlee said.
Neither Goode nor Green seemed overly concerned. Goode noted afterward that, “I just have to let people know where to find me!” while Green, also a son of a former mayor, noted, “I may be middle of the pack on the ballot, but my record isn’t.”
Milton in mayor’s office
The morning after learning his mayoral candidacy for allegedly invalid nominating-petition signatures and residency issues, Milton Street still hadn’t seen the suit. So, he went to Mayor Michael Nutter’s office yesterday to get a copy.
Outside the courtroom where he’d just won the first ballot position, Street said residency is a non-issue per his reading of the federal Bureau of Prisons website. He also vouched for the legitimacy of his petition circulators.
“It’s not illegal, but it’s unethical,” Street said of Nutter’s PAC funding a lawsuit against Street’s campaign. Since his political-action committee is paying for the suit brought by several supporters, Nutter “should be in the courtroom to testify what problems he’s seen with my petitions. Where are his ethics? All the political junk I’ve got in my trunk, this shows he’s got toxic waste in his.”