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New Member: Evans Wins Fattah’s Vacant Seat in Pennsylvania’s 2nd District

Ex-congressman resigned in June over federal corruption convictions

Dwight Evans will replace Democratic former Rep. Chaka Fattah in Pennsylvania's 2nd District. (Courtesy of the Evans campaign)
Dwight Evans will replace Democratic former Rep. Chaka Fattah in Pennsylvania's 2nd District. (Courtesy of the Evans campaign)

Pennsylvania state Rep. Dwight Evans will win the open seat in the state’s 2nd District, The Associated Press projects.

Evans led Republican candidate James Jones 92 percent to 8 percent with 4 percent of precincts reporting.

Evans will replace Democratic former Rep. Chaka Fattah, whom he defeated in an April primary. Fattah was the first incumbent to lose a primary this season.

Coming into Election Day, the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rated the open seat Safe Democrat.

[Indicted Rep. Fattah Loses Primary]

Fattah resigned from Congress in June after he was indicted on 29 federal corruption charges.

Evans is a longtime Philadelphia politician with considerable clout among the Pennsylvania Democratic establishment.

[Election Results 2016]

He has been a known quantity in Philadelphia politics for decades. He’s held his Philadelphia-based state House seat since 1981, and has run twice unsuccessfully for mayor.

Evans and Fattah faced off in a crowded Democratic primary for Philadelphia mayor in 2007: Fattah came in fourth while Evans came in fifth.

It was that bid for mayor that Fattah’s federal corruption case was largely centered on in which he and three associates were charged with racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of a probe launched by the IRS in 2013.

The case centered largely on a $1 million campaign loan that prosecutors said was donated and paid back illegally.

Prosecutors alleged the 11-term congressman took bribes and stole charitable donations and campaign contributions as well as misused federal grant money under his control while he was a member of the Appropriations Committee.

Fattah’s legal troubles continue. A judge in October upheld a bulk of federal corruption convictions against Fattah but dropped other convictions related to mail and bank fraud.

Fattah’s lawyers attempted to use the pivotal Supreme Court opinion that vacated the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, arguing he was acquitted on far more serious charges.

Contact Rahman at remarahman@cqrollcall.com or follow her on Twitter at @remawriter.

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