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Dwight Evans (politician)

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 3rd congressional district since 2016. The district, numbered as the 2nd District during his first term, includes most of downtown and western Philadelphia.

Dwight Evans
Dwight Evans official portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 3rd district
Assumed office
November 14, 2016
Preceded byChaka Fattah (2nd Discrict)
Mike Kelly (3rd District)
Constituency2nd (2016–2019)
3rd (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 65)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationCommunity College of Philadelphia
La Salle University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

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 educationEdit

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 careerEdit

Pennsylvania House of RepresentativesEdit

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 was reelected 12 more times against only nominal Republican opposition.

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 electionsEdit

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 RepresentativesEdit


2016 special electionEdit

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]

2018 ElectionEdit

Evans defeated Republican challenger, Bryan Leib to win his second-term.


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.[12]

He is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus[13] and the Congressional Black Caucus.[14]



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.[15]


On September 24, 2018, Evans was rated 100% by the Clean Water Action group.[16]

Committee assignmentsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Power: The Dwight Stuff? - Philadelphia Magazine". March 20, 2007.
  2. ^ S.A. Paolantonio, The Quiet Connection, Philadelphia Magazine
  3. ^ "Philadelphia Tribune Names City's 10 Most Influential African Americans".
  4. ^ Carol Morello (May 21, 1986). "Singel Emerges as Winner Over Flaherty and Evans". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  5. ^ Michael DeCoursey Hinds, Pennsylvania's No. 2 Official Is Nominated for Governor, New York Times, May 11, 1994[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ G. Terry Madonna Archived 2008-10-04 at the Wayback Machine, 1999 Philadelphia Mayoral Primary, Franklin and Marshall College, Center for Politics & Public Affairs
  7. ^ Amy Worden (May 3, 2007). "Rendell Likes Evans but Won't Endorse". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  8. ^ "Certified Election Results, Committee of Seventy, June 18, 2007" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 12, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  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. ^ Marcos, Cristina (17 August 2017). "Dems unveil bill to ban Confederate monuments on federal property". Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  14. ^ "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  15. ^ "HR 6691 - Community Safety and Security Act of 2018 - National Key Vote". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  16. ^ "Dwight Evans' Political Summary". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 26, 2018.

External linksEdit