By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Philadelphia district attorney Lynne Abraham, who held sway over the city’s criminal justice system for nearly 20 years, is now officially a candidate for mayor.

Her name recognition may top the list of current mayoral candidates.  She was elected citywide as a judge, and then five times as DA, beginning in 1991.

Abraham was the first and only woman to hold that position.  She decided in 2009 not to run again in 2009 for that post.

There has never been a woman mayor in Philadelphia’s 334-year history, Abraham notes, “because it’s the old boys’ network.  And, by the way, today it still is.”

Brushing aside the question of her age — she’s now 73 — Abraham says as long as “your dreams exceed your regrets,” you’re not too old to hold public office.

“I’ve got lots of dreams, lots of energy.  Nobody will outrun me, out-campaign me, out-talk me, out-think me,” she said today.  “I’ve got more energy than all of the other candidates put together.  You will see it on rich display during this campaign.”

Knowing she will rankle the established Democratic Party machine, Abraham says this is her “call for a new kind of leadership — transformational leadership — and a new approach: reform government.”