Indicted Democratic congressman loses Pennsylvania primary

Ahead of his May 16 court date for federal corruption, Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), a 22-year member of the U.S. House, failed in his primary bid to return to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

Fattah was defeated by Pennsylvania state representative, Dwight Evans, 42.2 percent to 34.5 percent.

Evans’ challenge was a first for Fattah, who had never faced a primary challenger in his career.

Speaking eloquently in his concession speech, Fattah averred:

“It has been the greatest honor to serve the constituents of my city.  I have spent my career working to better the lives of the people in our community-to ensure that all students are given every opportunity to succeed, to promote and engage our workforce, to realize the visions of our innovators and scientists, and to keep our families safe and healthy.

But in the face of adversity, the people of Philadelphia are vocal and proud. I have been honored to bring these collective voices to Capitol Hill because I see greatness in Philadelphia.”

Fattah, 59, has served Pennsylvania’s Second Congressional District for 11 terms and is a member of the House Committee on Appropriations.

Indicted in July 2015 along with four associates, Fattah has been charged with bribery, racketeering, money laundering, bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, and filing false statements.

Part of the allegations include Fattah’s alleged role in obtaining a $1 million loan to finance his failed Philadelphia mayoral bid in 2007 and attempts to use federal and charitable funds to re-pay the loan.

In face of the indictment, Fattah struggled with fundraising for his re-election and many long-time supporters remained distant. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Governor Tom Wolf eventually threw support behind Evans.

Defiant in the face of federal indictment, Fattah refused to step down for his House seat and declared the FBI inquiry a witch hunt.

 

[WPVI-TV 6-ABC] [Photo courtesy wfmz.com]