Evans launches first TV ad in effort to unseat Fattah

With a month to go before Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, state Rep. Dwight Evans is hitting the airwaves with the first television ad from a crowded race in the 2nd Congressional District.

The 30-second spot, which debuts Tuesday, is part biography, part resume. It starts with photos of Evans as a baby, high school graduate and community organizer before getting into highlights from his 35 years in Harrisburg.

“He worked to create a thriving commercial district, and he’s brought new grocery stores to underserved areas,” states a deep-voiced narrator over shots of West Oak Lane, a neighborhood Evans helped revitalize through state and foundation funding.

The ad also touches on the cornerstone of Evans’ campaign — lifting up neighborhoods in the district, which includes parts of North, Northwest and West Philadelphia, as well as most of Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County.

Viewers are told Evans will be a “block by block Congressman for us.”

The commercial, slated to air on broadcast and cable TV, comes as Fattah struggles to secure campaign contributions that would help him get his message out to a larger audience.

As of Dec. 31, Evans had more than $300,000 in his campaign fund — more than anyone in the field. Fattah had less than $8,000 and considerable legal debt.

Running an ad for a week in Philadelphia can cost more than $500,000. A campaign spokesman declined to provide further details about the ad.

Philadelphia ward leader Dan Muroff and Lower Merion Township Commissioner Brian Gordon also hope to best Fattah in April’s Democratic primary. Given the district’s lopsided voter rolls, the primary essentially crowns the next congressman.

The winner will face Republican James Jones, who is running unopposed in the Republican primary.

Fattah is charged with racketeering, bribery, wire fraud and other offenses for allegedly misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money, public funds and charitable donations for personal and political gain.

His trial is scheduled for May 2, six days after the Democratic primary.

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