The Associated Press Philadelphia City Council President John Street resigned from his position yesterday amid speculation of a possible mayoral bid. In a letter read to the council, Street said he was stepping down as of December 31. "Although I will always love this council and treasure the friendships I have made during my 19 years of service, it is time to leave," the letter said. Street, a Democrat, confirmed rumors that he is contemplating a run for the city's top job next year, but stopped short of announcing his candidacy. "I'm thinking about it," he said. "I've, of course, raised a lot of money and have collected some, I think, very impressive consultants that are working with me to make a final decision about what my plans will be." Street said he would decide sometime next year whether to run, and added that he has discussed the idea once or twice with Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell, who is barred by the city charter from seeking a third term. "I wouldn't do anything politically without having some discussion with him," Street said. "He's my guy." The feeling, apparently, was mutual. "I think John Street will go down in history as one of the best City Council presidents this city has ever had," Rendell said after Street's announcement. Council will pick Street's replacement soon with an informal selection process to be followed by an election to ratify the choice next year, Street said. Two Council members -- Anna Verna (D) and Marian Tasco (D) -- are known to be interested in succeeding Street. Although he wouldn't publicly endorse either candidate, Street said he was willing to discuss it with council members. "I'll talk to people interested in hearing my views," Street said. "It's not anything to be taken lightly." If Street decides to run for mayor, he will be vying for the nomination with at least three other Democrats -- State Rep. Dwight Evans, former Housing Authority director John White and former City Councilperson Happy Fernandez. Another Democrat, Marty Weinberg, a top aide to the late Mayor Frank Rizzo, is expected to declare his candidacy next month. Republican Sam Katz became the first to announce for the GOP nomination on Tuesday. When asked what his plans would be if he decided not to run for mayor, Street smiled. "There's always the Olympics. I could be a cross-country runner," he joked.Comments powered by Disqus
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