PA-2: Fattah to Face Primary Challenger (VIDEO)

After pleading not guilty on Tuesday to 29 charges of racketeering and bribery – among others – Chaka Fattah learned he will face a primary opponent for the first time since he was elected in 1994.

Philly’s Ninth Ward leader Dan Muroff announced his campaign for the troubled lawmaker’s seat in Congress, according to an Inquirer report, while Fattah said he will seek re-election on his way out of the courthouse.

Muroff, an East Mount Airy attorney, said he is starting his campaign early in an effort to raise more money to oust the 11-term incumbent.

“This is about seeing a very active primary next year,” Muroff said. “I’m confident it will be, and I’m confident that there may be a new nominee.”

Muroff has worked in Washington before, under the late Rep. Tom Foglietta and former Rep. Joe Hoeffel, as well as two Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts.

Fattah Responds

In a statement filmed after his court appearance, Fattah again professed his innocence.

“In every way, I work hard on your behalf,” Fattah began, before phones began ringing in the background. “I would never do anything improper or illegal, and I would not even do anything that would embarrass you because I so much understand that it’s a privilege to serve.”

Fattah’s criminal charges stem from a $1 million dollar loan from a donor which he used for his failed 2007 Philly mayoral campaign – and sending his son to college, the prosecution alleges. Fattah allegedly paid back using federal grant money and funds from a non-profit group he established.

“They have an allegation about whether I’ve done something improper to help my son go to college. But much more importantly to you, you know that I’ve helped more young people in our city, region and country than anyone else who can be identified,” Fattah said, trying to put a spin on his legal predicament.

“This is a sober moment. It’s a speed bump,” Fattah concluded, before thanking his supporters. “But it’s something we can deal with because there’s no truth your congressman, your neighbor, has done anything wrong.”

3 Responses

  1. Fact 1: Congressman Fattah was the first Congressperson not from Illinois to endorse Obama and be against Clinton. If you are going to make something up at least make it credible.

    Fact 2: Muroff is a nice guy who will finish fourth or fifth in the primary. Nothing to see here for now, move along.

  2. Unknown:

    Good to see that you can use a completely unrelated political event to bash Hillary Clinton for your own personal agenda. It wasn’t easy or necessary or logical, but you made the story about you and your beliefs. Feel proud of that.

  3. Congressman Fattah, like other notable allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton criminally charged since the beginning of the year (including former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, and of course, PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane) is a passenger on a sinking ship. The battle waging between the would-be president and the law enforcement/intelligence communities is proving to be remarkably one-sided…

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