Longtime Philadelphia Rep. Chaka Fattah became the first person to lose the House primary on Tuesday night. Rep. Fattah’s legal troubles may have hindered him from clinching the victory against Rep. Dwight Evans. Evans was the front-runner with 43 percent of the votes; Fattah trailed behind with 36 percent, reports Politico.
Last year, Rep. Fattah was indicted on corruption charges. Federal prosecutors claimed he took bribes and used funds from the government and charities to pay campaign loans. He was also accused of establishing a fake charity that sought out government grants.
Following the indictment, Rep. Fattah lost many Democratic supporters and political leaders like Gov. Tom Wolf and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who endorsed rival Rep. Evans. Evans dished out $500,000 for his campaign between Jan. 1 and April 6, while Rep. Fattah spent less than $34,000 over that time frame, according to the report. His campaign account was reportedly tapped out by legal fees.
Rep. Evans’ supporters used Fattah’s indictment and his absence from districts outside of West Philadelphia against him. Fattah did everything he could to shake the negative image.
His team released a clip of President Obama praising Fattah, which was quickly denounced by the White House. “We have not endorsed a candidate in this race and did not approve of the president’s voice being used in this ad,” wrote White House Deputy Press Secretary Jennifer Friedman in an email to Politico.
During a recent interview, Rep. Fattah sounded discouraged about his position in the race. “We obviously are in a challenging and competitive race,” he said.
SOURCE: Politico | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform