Special election for Fattah's former U.S. House seat will be Nov. 8

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah leaves the federal courthouse after being convicted June 21, 2016, in a federal racketeering case.

Gov. Wolf on Friday set a special election for Nov. 8 - the same day as the general election - to temporarily fill the Second Congressional District seat vacated last week by Chaka Fattah.

Fattah, an 11-term Democrat, resigned June 23, two days after a federal jury convicted him on 22 counts, including racketeering, conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, and fraud.

The winner of the special election will be a member of the 114th Congress for exactly eight weeks, until the 115th is sworn in Jan. 3.

Members of the House are paid $174,000 per year, putting the pay for the eight-week gig at $27,649.

The Second District seat already was listed on the general election ballot. The special election will have at least two candidates for that race.

State Rep. Dwight Evans, who has served 18 terms in the state House, defeated Fattah in the April 26 Democratic primary election. James Jones, owner of a human-resources consulting firm, ran unopposed for the Republican nomination.

U.S. Rep. Robert Brady, chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic Party, expects Evans to be his party's candidate in the special election.

"It gives Dwight a little bit of seniority over the new batch coming in," Brady said. "The whole place runs on seniority."

Albert Eisenberg, a spokesman for the Republican City Committee, said Jones would be his party's candidate in the special election.

T. Milton Street Sr., a former state senator who served time in federal prison for not paying taxes and ran for mayor of Philadelphia in 2011 and 2015, is planning to run in the general election as an independent candidate.

Street scoffed at the notion of holding a special election for the seat.

"I'm not interested in the special election," he said. "That makes no sense to me."

The state election code required Wolf to set a special election within 10 days of Fattah's resignation; that election had to be held at least 60 days afterward.

Wanda Murren, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, said a special election on a date other than the general election would have cost "just over $1.4 million" to hold. The costs are "negligible" for holding the special election Nov. 8, she said.

The Second Congressional District includes parts of North, Northwest, West, South, and Center City Philadelphia, and Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County. Ninety-one percent of the district's voters live in Philadelphia.

The district is dominated by Democrats, who make up 81 percent of the registered voters; Republicans hold 8.5 percent, and independent and smaller party voters are 10 percent. It is the only one of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts in which a majority of residents - 58 percent - are African American.

brennac@phillynews.com

215-854-5973 @ByChrisBrennan