For the first time in more than two decades, Pennsylvania’s Second Congressional District will have a new representative in D.C.
Democratic state Rep. Dwight Evans cruised to victory Tuesday night, beating out Republican challenger James Jones to represent Pennyslvania’s 2nd Congressional District.
With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Evans had 91 percent of the vote.
Evans moves from the Pa. House, where he has represented the 203rd District for more than 35 years, to the U.S. Congress.
In the race to replace indicted U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, Evans first won the April Democratic primary against Fattah, attorney Dan Muroff and Lower Merion Township Commissioner Brian Gordon.
Evans’ defeat of Republican James Jones in the general election was expected. The district is dominated by Democrats, who represent roughly 80 percent of registered voters. They live in parts of North, Northwest and West Philadelphia, as well as Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County.
Evans will be sworn into office early next week after winning a special election that also pitted him against Jones.
During a victory speech at a West Oak Lane restuarant, Evans told supporters he will focus on urban issues, including infrastruture, jobs, and neighborhood development.
“I pledged in this campaign that I would go to Washington and fight for policies that would allow us to rebuild our communities block by block,” said Evans. “But I cannot do that alone…the best work that we have ever done, we have done it together. We are better and stronger together.”
Evans also talked about political divisiveness.
“We may disagree at times,” he said. “We may get frustrated at the political process. We may long look for simple solutions to complex problems. But on this we agree: we are all Pennsylvanians. And regardless of what divides us, we are all Americans.”
Jones was not immediately available for comment.
Evans was elected to serve in Harrisburg in 1980 when he was 25. He will be replaced in the 203rd Legislative District by Isabel Fitzgerald, who ran unopposed.
In June of this year, Fattah was found guilty of fraud, bribery and conspiracy. His sentening is scheduled for Dec. 12.
Federal prosecutors said Fattah hatched and orchestrated a “white-collar crime spree” motivated by personal and political gain.
Jurors said Fattah stole taxpayer dollars and charitable donations to help repay part of an illegal $1 million loan made to his failed bid for Philadelphia mayor in 2007.
They also found that Fattah accepted bribes from a close friend who wanted to become a U.S. ambassador with the Obama Administration; used campaign cash to help pay off some of his son’s college student loan debt; and helped launch a fake nonprofit as part of a ploy to settle a debt owed to a political consultant.
Four other defendants were convicted alongside Fattah, who is expected to file an appeal.