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Dwight Evans (politician)

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Dwight Evans
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania
Assumed office
November 14, 2016
Preceded byChaka Fattah
Constituency2nd district (2016–2019)
3rd district (2019–present)
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 203rd district
In office
January 4, 1981 – November 14, 2016
Preceded byJames Jones
Succeeded byIsabella Fitzgerald
Personal details
Born (1954-05-16) May 16, 1954 (age 70)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationCommunity College of Philadelphia
La Salle University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Dwight Evans (born May 16, 1954) is an American politician serving as a U.S. representative from Pennsylvania since 2016. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 203rd district for over thirty-five years.

Evans defeated incumbent Chaka Fattah in the Democratic primary election for Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district, and won a special election on November 8, 2016, following Fattah's resignation from Congress after he faced corruption charges. The district, which rebranded to Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district in 2019, includes most of Center City, West, and Northwest Philadelphia.


Early life[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.

Personal life[edit]

Evans has never married and has been described as "extremely protective" when discussing his private life.[1]

On May 23, 2024, Evans announced that he had suffered a minor stroke, and would be away from Congress for six weeks while recovering.[2]

Early political career[edit]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives[edit]

Evans was first elected to office in 1980. His district, which encompasses West Oak Lane in Philadelphia, was heavily Democratic with a 95% African-American population.[1] He was reelected 12 times against only nominal Republican opposition.

Evans was elected as the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in 1990[3] 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.[4]

Unsuccessful elections[edit]

Evans speaking during his 2007 mayoral campaign

Before his election to Congress, Evans unsuccessfully ran for higher office four times. In 1986, he sought the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, but finished third in the primary election to future Lieutenant Governor Mark Singel.[5]

In 1994, Evans became the first African American candidate to run for governor of Pennsylvania. In the Democratic primary election, he faced Singel and Lynn Yeakel. He was endorsed by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Evans finished second in the primary with 22%.[6]

Evans ran for mayor of Philadelphia twice. In 1999, in the race to succeed Ed Rendell, he finished fifth with 4.7% of the vote in a crowded primary won by John Street.[7] In 2007, despite Rendell's comment that Evans was the "best qualified" for mayor,[8] he finished fifth again, taking only 7.82% of the vote.[9]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


2016 special and general[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.[10] 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.[11] Fattah resigned two months later amid a corruption scandal.

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. He won both, and was sworn in on November 14. This gave Evans more seniority than other new members of Congress elected in 2016.[12] His district has been in Democratic hands without interruption since 1949, and has been represented by black congressmen since 1959.


A court-ordered redistricting ahead of the 2018 elections renumbered Evans's district as the 3rd district. It lost its share of Montgomery County and was pushed slightly further into Philadelphia. Like its predecessor, it is heavily Democratic and majority black. Evans handily defeated Republican challenger Bryan Leib to win his second full term.


Evans was reelected in 2020 with 91% of the vote, defeating Republican Michael Harvey.[13]


Evans defeated Alexandra Hunt in the 2022 Democratic primary. No Republicans ran for the seat, and Evans defeated Socialist Workers Party candidate Christopher Hoeppner with 95% of the vote.[14]


In August 2017, following the aftermath of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Evans and Representative Adriano Espaillat introduced legislation banning Confederate monuments on federal property.[15]

Evans is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus[16] and the Congressional Black Caucus.[17]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Evans has voted with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time in the 117th Congress, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis.[21]


In September 2018, Evans voted against HR 6691, the Community Safety and Security Act of 2018. The bill would amend the definition of "crime of violence". Within the definition of "crime of violence" is fleeing a police officer in a vehicle or on foot.[22]

In 2021, he voted for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act[23] and the Enhanced Background Checks Act.[24][25]

In April 2022, Evans announced a $51 billion, seven-point plan to fight gun violence in Philadelphia and around the country.[26][27][28] The same month, Giffords PAC endorsed him for reelection.[29]


On September 24, 2018, Evans was rated 100% by the Clean Water Action group.[30] In 2021, he received 100% on the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard.[31][32]

Health care[edit]

Evans supports three public health option bills in Congress.[33][34][35][36]


In 2021, Evans announced a $63 billion "Housing Is Essential" plan with Representatives Matt Cartwright and Mike Doyle.[37][38]

Impeachment of Donald Trump[edit]

Evans was an early congressional supporter of impeaching President Donald Trump.[39] He voted for the 2019[40][41] and 2021[42][43] impeachment resolutions.


Evans voted for President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill.[44][45] The legislation includes the $1 billion Reconnecting Communities initiative that he co-led.[46][47]


Evans voted to provide Israel with support following 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[48][49]


In 2022, the Russian government sanctioned Evans along with other congressional supporters of aid to Ukraine.[50][51][52]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Power: The Dwight Stuff? - Philadelphia Magazine". March 20, 2007. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2008.
  2. ^ Fortinsky, Sarah (May 23, 2024). "Pennsylvania Democrat suffers 'minor stroke,' will be out six weeks". The Hill. Retrieved May 24, 2024.
  3. ^ "S.A. Paolantonio, The Quiet Connection, Philadelphia Magazine". Archived from the original on October 4, 2008. Retrieved March 23, 2008.
  4. ^ "Philadelphia Tribune Names City's 10 Most Influential African Americans".
  5. ^ Carol Morello (May 21, 1986). "Singel Emerges as Winner Over Flaherty and Evans". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  6. ^ Michael DeCoursey Hinds, Pennsylvania's No. 2 Official Is Nominated for Governor, New York Times, May 11, 1994Archived 2018-01-26 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ G. Terry Madonna Archived 2008-10-04 at the Wayback Machine, 1999 Philadelphia Mayoral Primary, Franklin and Marshall College, Center for Politics & Public Affairs
  8. ^ Amy Worden (May 3, 2007). "Rendell Likes Evans but Won't Endorse". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  9. ^ "Certified Election Results, Committee of Seventy, June 18, 2007" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 12, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  10. ^ Brennan, Chris (November 4, 2015). "Dwight Evans says he'll challenge Fattah in '16". Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  11. ^ McCrone, Brian X. (April 27, 2016). "Fattah Concedes as Evans Scores Upset Win in 2nd Congressional Democratic Primary". WCAU. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Democrat Dwight Evans wins reelection to U.S. House in Pennsylvania's 3rd Congressional District". AP NEWS. November 4, 2020. Retrieved August 13, 2022.
  14. ^ Hunt falls to Evans in congressional race after a campaign that centered sex work — and grabbed attention
  15. ^ Marcos, Cristina (August 17, 2017). "Dems unveil bill to ban Confederate monuments on federal property". Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  16. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  17. ^ "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  18. ^ "Ways and Means (117th Congress)". Ways and Means Committee - Democrats. Archived from the original on May 3, 2022. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  19. ^ "Caucus Membrs". US House of Representatives. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  20. ^ "Congressional Black Caucus". cbc.house.gov. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  21. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron; Wiederkehr, Anna (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  22. ^ "HR 6691 - Community Safety and Security Act of 2018 - National Key Vote". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  23. ^ "Roll Call 75, Bill Number: H. R. 8, 117th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. March 11, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  24. ^ "Roll Call 77, Bill Number: H. R. 1446, 117th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. March 11, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  25. ^ Evans, Dwight [@RepDwightEvans] (December 14, 2021). "3/ I've voted for 2 gun-reform bills that would save lives & urge the Senate to join the House in passing #HR8 & #HR1446! ✅HR 8: Universal background checks for gun buyers: https://t.co/baBKGiySTa ✅HR 1446: Closing the Charleston loophole: https://t.co/rbYXQi7LWn" (Tweet). Archived from the original on April 27, 2022. Retrieved December 4, 2022 – via Twitter.
  26. ^ "Evans Announces $51 Billion, 7-Point Plan to Fight Gun Violence". Representative Dwight Evans. April 21, 2022. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  27. ^ "Rep. Dwight Evans unveils $51 billion proposal to fight gun violence in Philadelphia". PhillyVoice. April 21, 2022. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  28. ^ "Congressman Dwight Evans Unveils Seven-Point Plan To Fight Gun Violence In Philadelphia". April 21, 2022. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  29. ^ "Giffords Endorses Pennsylvania Slate of Gun Safety Champions". Giffords. April 7, 2022. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  30. ^ "Dwight Evans' Political Summary". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  31. ^ Evans, Dwight [@DwightEvansPA] (February 19, 2021). "Proud to share I earned a 100% on the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard! @LCVoters https://t.co/rdBhHPmWcY" (Tweet). Archived from the original on April 27, 2022. Retrieved December 4, 2022 – via Twitter.
  32. ^ "Check out Representative Dwight Evans's Environmental Voting Record". League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. February 14, 2022. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  33. ^ "Your voter guide to the 2022 PA primary in Philadelphia". The Philadelphia Citizen. March 30, 2022. Archived from the original on April 27, 2022. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  34. ^ Schrier, Kim (August 6, 2021). "Cosponsors - H.R.4974 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): State Public Option Act". www.congress.gov. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  35. ^ Gomez, Jimmy (August 13, 2021). "Cosponsors - H.R.5011 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Choose Medicare Act". www.congress.gov. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  36. ^ Jayapal, Pramila (September 6, 2021). "Cosponsors - H.R.5165 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Improving Medicare Coverage Act". www.congress.gov. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  37. ^ "Pa. Congressmen Announce $63 Billion 'Housing Is Essential' Plan". Representative Dwight Evans. March 31, 2021. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  38. ^ "U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans proposes $63 billion plan to bolster housing and stabilize communities". Pennsylvania Capital-Star. April 3, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  39. ^ Marcos, Cristina (December 6, 2017). "The nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment". The Hill. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  40. ^ "Evans: Impeachment Necessary Because 'No One Is Above the Law'". Representative Dwight Evans. December 18, 2019. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  41. ^ Cai, Weiyi; Lai, K. K. Rebecca; Parlapiano, Alicia; White, Jeremy; Buchanan, Larry (December 18, 2019). "Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  42. ^ "Evans: Impeachment Is Necessary to Remove a Threat to America". Representative Dwight Evans. January 13, 2021. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  43. ^ Olson, Laura (January 13, 2021). "U.S. House votes to impeach Trump over Capitol insurrection; What Pa. lawmakers said". Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  44. ^ "Your voter guide to the 2022 PA primary in Philadelphia". The Philadelphia Citizen. March 30, 2022. Archived from the original on April 27, 2022. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  45. ^ Jones, Ayana (November 9, 2021). "U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans highlights Philly's benefits from infrastructure package". The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  46. ^ "What's in the Historic Infrastructure Package; Monday Deadline for Child Tax Credit". Representative Dwight Evans. November 9, 2021. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  47. ^ Allen, Taylor (November 9, 2021). "What Biden's infrastructure bill means for Pennsylvania". Axios. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  48. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (October 25, 2023). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  49. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (October 25, 2023). "Roll Call 528 Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved October 30, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  50. ^ Evans, Dwight [@RepDwightEvans] (April 14, 2022). "I'm proud to stand with Ukraine and support aid to help Ukrainians defend themselves against Russia's barbaric invasion. I have no middle initial, but I still consider being sanctioned by Putin's dictatorship to be a badge of honor. https://t.co/SfxvBY5D5T https://t.co/sctDpzFWkI" (Tweet). Archived from the original on August 26, 2022. Retrieved December 4, 2022 – via Twitter.
  51. ^ Saric, Ivana (April 13, 2022). "Russia sanctions 398 members of Congress". Axios. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  52. ^ mid.ru https://mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/1809216/. Retrieved April 28, 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 203rd district

Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by