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.
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.”