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 2nd congressional district since 2016. 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.
|Member of the |
U.S. House of Representatives
|Assumed office |
November 14, 2016
|Preceded by||Chaka Fattah (2nd)|
Mike Kelly (3rd)
|Succeeded by||Brendan Boyle (2nd) (elect)|
|Constituency||2nd district (2016–19)|
3rd district (2019–)
|Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives|
from the 203rd district
January 4, 1981 – November 14, 2016
|Preceded by||James Jones|
|Succeeded by||Isabella Fitzgerald|
|Born||May 16, 1954|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Education||Community College of Philadelphia (AA)|
La Salle University (BA)
Evans grew up in the Germantown and West Oak Lane sections of Philadelphia 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.
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. 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  and served in that capacity until November 2010.
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.
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%.
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. In 2007, despite comments by Governor Rendell that Evans was the "best qualified" for mayor, he finished fifth again taking only 7.82% of the vote.
In November 2015, Evans announced that he would run for Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district in 2016 against Democratic incumbent Chaka Fattah. 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.
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.
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.
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.
On September 24, 2018, Evans was rated 100% by the Clean Water Action group.
|Pennsylvania House of Representatives|
| Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 203rd district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| Seniority in the U.S. House of Representatives