Update, June 21st, 2016: Chaka Fattah was found guilty on all counts in his federal corruption trial.
Chaka Fattah was great at politics.
I write “was” because, yesterday, longtime state Rep. Dwight Evans defeated him in a primary election for the Congressional seat in Pennsylvania’s 2nd District. This might seem like a no-brainer since Fattah had been indicted last July on corruption charges. But this is Philadelphia. When Fattah led with 55 percent of the vote in early returns against Evans and two other challengers, political observers had the same thought: He might actually pull this off.
He didn’t. Evans won the Democratic primary — the de facto election in a district as liberal as the 2nd — with more than 73,000 votes. Fattah was well behind with more than 60,000 votes, 42 to 36 percent. (Lower Merion Commissioner Brian Gordon had more than 23,000, votes while former CeaseFire PA director Daniel Muroff had 17,500.) James Jones, who ran unopposed on the Republican side, will face Evans in November. Sorry, James: Evans will win.
Arlen Specter was in the U.S. Senate for 30 years. In 2010, after switching parties, he lost to Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary. I covered his Election Night party, held in the same room as my high school’s senior prom. It was so sad. My prom was incredibly fun, and this party nearly ruined my memories of it.
Fattah’s last-night-in-politics party was much worse. There were 30 people at the nurses’ union hall on Locust Street off Broad over the course of the night. At most. The only conversation I had with any Fattah supporter was about the roast beef. It was over before 11 p.m. There were so few people there, I was able to grab a “FATTAH 2016” hat for my girlfriend. She loves Renee. Read more »