WASHINGTON - Longtime Pennsylvania State Rep. Dwight Evans was sworn in to the House of Representatives on Monday night, capping a dramatic political turnaround for the Philadelphia Democrat.
Evans, 62, replaced former Rep. Chaka Fattah, who was convicted on corruption charges this year and resigned.
On the House floor, Evans pledged Monday night to work across the aisle.
"I understand our differences, I am not naive, but I know that when we put aside those differences, when we listen to each other, we make great strides," Evans said, with the rest of the Pennsylvania delegation standing behind him.
He promised to remind himself every day that his seat "belongs to the people."
Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle and Republican Rep. Joe Pitts introduced Evans, offering him bipartisan praise.
Evans last week easily won both a special election in the heavily Democratic, Philadelphia-based Second District to complete Fattah's current term, and his own two-year term beginning in January.
Evans served 36 years in the state House, at one point chairing the powerful Appropriations Committee.
But amid acrimony from fellow Democrats, Evans' influence was sharply curtailed. He was ousted from the committee in 2010 amid questions over how a nonprofit he founded used millions in state grants, and reports he had sought to steer a School Reform Commission contract to a provider he favored.
Still, Evans found a path back to influence this year, as Fattah's legal troubles sunk the incumbent.
Evans won a contested Democratic primary in April and cruised to victory last Tuesday, winning 90 percent of the vote in his district.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) administered the oath of office to Evans and two other new members of Congress.