Dwight Evans Raised a Lot of Money for Chaka Fattah Challenge

The powerful State Rep. still faces an uphill battle against the indicted congressman.

State Rep. Dwight Evans and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah | Photos by George Widman and Matt Rourke/AP

State Rep. Dwight Evans and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah | Photos by George Widman and Matt Rourke/AP

State Rep. Dwight Evans says he has raised more than $330,000 in the first eight weeks of his primary campaign for embattled U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah’s seat, Al Dia reports.

Team Evans likely revealed the news before campaign finance reports are due Jan. 31st in hopes of impressing potential donors and garnering press coverage. Evans also says he currently has $280,000 in the bank.

Team Fattah, meanwhile, declined to unveil how much money the incumbent has raised in the last few months. When campaign finance reports were last due in the fall, Fattah had just $822 in his coffers. Much of his money has gone to legal fees: Federal prosecutors charged Fattah with bribery, conspiracy, racketeering, money laundering and other offenses in July. The congressman has denied any wrongdoing.

Dan Muroff, who is also mounting a challenge against Fattah, had $160,000 in the bank as of late September; fellow candidate and Lower Merion Township Commissioner Brian Gordon had $18,210. State Rep. Brian Sims, meanwhile, announced last week that he had raised $230,000 since jumping in the race in October, according to Al Dia.

Evans is seen by many political insiders as the most viable challenger in the race against Fattah. He is a longtime state representative with clout in both the Wolf and Kenney administrations, and he is the only African-American challenging Fattah, a factor that must be considered in a city where most residents still vote along racial lines. Plus, a super PAC is backing Evans, as NewsWorks reported in November.

But Evans’ campaign is still an uphill battle, despite the fact that Fattah is facing numerous charges. Fattah is a 21-year incumbent with tons of name recognition and a record of winning relection even when he is under investigation. Here’s a longer explainer on why Fattah has a good chance of being reelected again this year.