Dwight Evans (politician)

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Dwight Evans
Dwight Evans official portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd district
Assumed office
November 14, 2016
Preceded by Chaka Fattah
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 203rd district
In office
January 4, 1981 – November 14, 2016
Preceded by James Jones
Succeeded by Isabella Fitzgerald
Personal details
Born (1954-05-16) May 16, 1954 (age 64)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Education Community College of Philadelphia
La Salle University (BA)
Website House website

Dwight E. Evans (born May 16, 1954) is an American politician of the Democratic Party serving as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district since 2016. He defeated incumbent Chaka Fattah in the Democratic primary election, and won a special election on November 8, 2016, following Fattah's resignation from Congress after he faced corruption charges. He previously served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 203rd district located in Philadelphia County.

Early life and education[edit]

Evans grew up in the Germantown and West Oak Lane sections of Philadelphia[1] and is a graduate of the Community College of Philadelphia and La Salle University. After graduation, he became a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia and a community activist for the Urban League.

Early political career[edit]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives[edit]

Evans was first elected to office in 1980. The district, which encompasses West Oak Lane in Philadelphia, was heavily Democratic with a 95% African-American population.[1] As a result, he had minimal GOP opposition in winning re-election to his seat.

Evans was elected as the Democratic Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in 1990 [2] and served in that capacity until November 2010.

In 2010, the Philadelphia Tribune named Evans one of the 10 most influential African-Americans in the city.[3]

Unsuccessful elections[edit]

Evans speaking during his 2007 mayoral campaign

Prior to his election to Congress, Evans ran for higher office four times unsuccessfully. In 1986, he sought the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor but finished third in the primary election to future Lieutenant Governor Mark Singel.[4]

In 1994, Evans became the first African American candidate to seek the office of Governor of Pennsylvania. In the Democratic primary election, Evans faced off with Lynn Yeakel and Lt. Governor Singel. He won endorsements from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This time, Evans finished second in the primary with 22%.[5]

Evans made two runs for Mayor of Philadelphia. In 1999, in the race to succeed Ed Rendell, Evans finished fifth with 4.7% of the vote in a crowded primary won by John Street.[6] In 2007, despite comments by Governor Rendell that Evans was the "best qualified" for mayor,[7] he finished fifth again taking only 7.82% of the vote.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2016 special election[edit]

Evans being sworn in by Speaker Paul Ryan

In November 2015, Evans announced that he would run for Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district in 2016 against Democratic incumbent Chaka Fattah.[9] In an upset, Evans beat Fattah for the Democratic nomination–the real contest in this heavily Democratic, black-majority district–on April 26, 2016. He won mainly by running up his margins in his Olney-Oak Lane stronghold. Fattah later resigned amid a corruption scandal.[10]

As a result, Evans ran in two elections on November 8, 2016–a special election for the balance of Fattah's sixth term, and a regular election for a full two-year term. Evans won both elections and was sworn in on Monday, November 14, 2016. This led to Evans having more seniority than other new members who won the 2016 Congressional election.[11]

Tenure[edit]

After the 2017 Congressional baseball shooting, Republican congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and Evans issued a joint statement of solidarity pledging to reconcile partisan differences.[12]

In August 2017, following the aftermath of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Evans and New York Representative Adriano Espaillat introduced legislation banning Confederate monuments on federal property.[13]

He is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus[14] and the Congressional Black Caucus.[15]

Other activities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Power: The Dwight Stuff? - Philadelphia Magazine". 20 March 2007. 
  2. ^ S.A. Paolantonio, The Quiet Connection, Philadelphia Magazine
  3. ^ "Philadelphia Tribune Names City's 10 Most Influential African Americans". 
  4. ^ Carol Morello, Singel Emerges as Winner Over Flaherty and Evans, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 21, 1986
  5. ^ Michael DeCoursey Hinds, Pennsylvania's No. 2 Official Is Nominated for Governor, New York Times, May 11, 1994
  6. ^ G. Terry Madonna, 1999 Philadelphia Mayoral Primary, Franklin and Marshall College, Center for Politics & Public Affairs
  7. ^ Amy Worden, Rendell Likes Evans but Won't Endorse, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 3, 2007
  8. ^ Certified Election Results, Committee of Seventy, June 18, 2007
  9. ^ Brennan, Chris (November 4, 2015). "Dwight Evans says he'll challenge Fattah in '16". Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved July 9, 2016. 
  10. ^ McCrone, Brian X. (April 27, 2016). "Fattah Concedes as Evans Scores Upset Win in 2nd Congressional Democratic Primary". WCAU. Retrieved July 9, 2016. 
  11. ^ Tamari, Jonathan (November 15, 2016). "Dwight Evans sworn in to represent Philly-based 2nd District in U.S. House". Philly News. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  12. ^ https://evans.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/reps-evans-fitzpatrick-urge-bipartisan-showing-congressional-baseball
  13. ^ http://thehill.com/homenews/house/347026-democrats-unveil-bill-to-ban-confederate-monuments-on-federal-property
  14. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved 7 March 2018. 

External links[edit]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Jones
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 203rd District
1981–2016
Succeeded by
Isabella Fitzgerald
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chaka Fattah
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district

November 8, 2016 – present
Incumbent
Preceded by
James Comer
Seniority in the U.S. House of Representatives
369th
Succeeded by
Brad Schneider