Evans to challenge Fattah with super PAC help

     State Rep. Dwight Evans intends to challenge U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah in the April Democratic primary. (AP file photo)

    State Rep. Dwight Evans intends to challenge U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah in the April Democratic primary. (AP file photo)

    Pennsylvania state Rep. Dwight Evans will run against Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah in April’s Democratic primary, and he’ll have a super PAC helping him.

    Fattah, currently battling federal corruption charges, says he’s innocent and will seek re-election next year.

    Word has circulated in political circles for weeks that Evans would take on Fattah. Now Jay Hauser, a campaign adviser to Evans, has confirmed he will run.

    As a candidate for Congress, Evans’ fundraising will be restricted to contribution limits in federal election law — $2,700 from individuals and $5,000 from political committees.

    But candidates can benefit from big contributors if their supporters form independent expenditure committees, called super PACs. Those committees can accept donations of any size and spend as much as they want as long as they don’t coordinate activities with candidates they support.

    Evans will have the support of Forward Philadelphia, a super PAC formed earlier this year, according to Democratic campaign strategist Bill Hyers, who is involved in the effort.

    Forward Philadelphia raised and spent more than $1.3 million in support of winning Democratic mayoral candidate Jim Kenney.

    Evans has represented his West Oak Lane legislative district for more than 30 years. He ran for mayor in 2007 in a five-candidate field that included Fattah. They both lost to Mayor Michael Nutter.

    Three other Democrats, Philadelphia state Rep. Brian Sims, Philadelphia ward leader Dan Muroff, and Lower Merion Township Commissioner Brian Gordon have also said they plan to challenge Fattah.

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