State Sen. John Blake is pushing a fellow state senator as the new state Democratic Party chairman.
Blake, D-22, Archbald, wants Sen. Sharif Street, D-3, Philadelphia, to get the job. If the name sounds familiar, Street’s dad, John Street, served two terms as Philadelphia mayor. John Street is one of Gov. Ed Rendell’s closest political allies. Blake worked as a top executive in Rendell’s Department of Community and Economic Development.
Some Democrats probably won’t like the idea of an elected official leading the state Democratic Party because both jobs, done right, can keep you really busy.
“I can appreciate that,” Blake said. “I think it takes a very competent person to master these jobs and I think Sharif is up to the task.”
Street, 43, who grew up in Philly, is “a very good lawyer, a good legal mind with very good political instincts,” Blake said. “I think he’s got a pretty great vision of the future of our party in terms of policy issues that are important for us.”
Street’s political instincts include a grasp of politics that extends beyond Philadelphia, he said.
“Sharif is a very impressive young man,” Blake said.
It’s unclear if anyone else wants the job for now.
State Democratic Party committee members chose Indiana County lawyer Jack Hanna as interim chair for the party on Saturday. He will serve until June, but is not expected to seek to keep the job for the next four years.
Democrats needed to find someone to replace Marcel Groen, who resigned after making some controversial comments in response to allegations of sexual harassment by Democrats. Gov. Tom Wolf’s opinion will matter a lot because he’s the state’s top elected Democratic official.