Their districts may be hundreds of miles apart and world's away, but for decades, Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.) and the former top House Democrat, Bill DeWeese of Greene County, were allies in the upper echelons of House leadership.
Now, with DeWeese facing corruption charges but pledging to retain his seat, Evans, it appears, has broken with his longtime ally.
Only days after DeWeese - who in 24 years in office has served as House Speaker, Majority leader and Minority leader and Whip - announced plans to run for another term, Greene County Commissioner Pam Snyder said she would challenge him in the Democratic primary.
Snyder told PoliticsPa that Evans - who rarely endorses candidates or enters the fray of caucus contretemps - had called to say he "supported" her candidacy.
Snyder said she decided to run because she thought DeWeese would not seek reelection. But later, after learning DeWeese would run, decided to stay in after being reminded last week - as Gov. Rendell delivered the 2010-2011 budget address - that it took 101 days to pass the state's spending plan last year.
”I am hoping that I will have the ability to help formulate something that will address that issue from a legislative perspective, so that legislators wouldn’t be paid until there was a budget," Snyder said.
DeWeese fired back at Evans yesterday, saying the people of his district will decide.
“I have the highest and most enduring respect for Chairman Evans, but center city Philadelphia is 305 miles from the Greene County line,” DeWeese told PoliticsPA. ”I believe irrevocably that the May 18 contest will be decided by boots on the ground in the 50th legislative district.”
Evans spokeswoman, Johnna Pro, said yesterday that she doesn't comment on Evans' private conversations, but that he is "impressed with Commissioner Snyder.
"He believes she is an outstanding candidate who would represent the district very well."
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