Big news today out of Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, who was the first openly LGBTQ member of the Legislature when elected in 2012, announced on Monday that he is running for lieutenant governor.
The races for governor and lieutenant governor will take place in 2022, but both are expected to get crowded with candidates this year. Gov. Tom Wolf will not be able to run again after serving two terms and incumbent Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has already announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat that incumbent Pat Toomey is retiring from when his term ends next year.
The open senate and gubernatorial races in 2022 mean that this year will be a busy one for political hopefuls vying for the most coveted elected offices in Pennsylvania. The state's other U.S. Senate seat is held by Bob Casey, who is not up for re-election until 2024.
“We need adults in the room, and I want to bring bold visionary leadership based on lived experience and shared values to the Commonwealth,” Sims said in a video posted Monday.
Sims, who is from Philadelphia, as served in Pennsylvania's House of Representatives for 10 years and is a member of several committees in the General Assembly, including Game & Fisheries, State Government and serves as the co-chair of the the LGBTQ Equality Caucus.
According to his bio on the PA State House's website, Sims came out to his football team after helping to lead them to the Division II national championship game as their captain in 2000. He remains the only former NCAA football captain to have ever come out.
On his official PA House Page, Sims says he is “He is dedicated to making Philadelphia safer, strengthening and protecting public education, preserving services for seniors and other vulnerable Pennsylvanians, making affordable health care more available, expanding civil rights for all Pennsylvanians, preserving our environment while investing in alternative energy, creating jobs and cleaning up Harrisburg.”
Sims, like current Lt. Governor and U.S. Senate candidate, John Fetterman (D. PA), knows how to utilize social media brilliantly:
In a video uploaded to his social media accounts, the openly gay lawmaker and outspoken LGBTQ activist said he wanted to “try to alleviate some of the fears that people are having around the country” after watching the “disjointed press conference that some of the more right-wing, conservative members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives did earlier this morning.”
Sims noted that Pennsylvania House Republicans had been attempting for a couple of months to “create a scenario wherein they could essentially steal the popular vote from Pennsylvanians” should Biden win the state, and instead “replace the 20 electors for Pennsylvania with their own Republican electors and send that off to the Electoral College.”
“Now the first thing that I want to tell you is that…this idea is nothing new,” he said. “They were intending to do this whether they saw fraud or not, which they haven’t seen and aren’t able to produce any evidence of. And so really what they’re doing is continuing to sort of beat the same drum that they’ve been beating for months now.
“Part of this is to try to alleviate their constituents who have demanded this of them,” Sims continued. “For months, they’ve been laying claim that if the popular vote didn’t go the way that they wanted it to, that they would try to find a scenario that would allow them to choose their own electors, and so part of this is just having to follow through on the lie and the scheme that they created to begin with.”
Received this e-mail today from Sims’ campaign:
For the past 10 years, I’ve served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, fighting for equity and against discrimination, to keep my promises to my communities, to Philadelphians, and to Pennsylvanians.
But this last cycle, everything changed.
The attacks on governance, on equality, and on the communities that I’m a part of, and those that I defend as an ally, ramped up to epic proportions.
I put myself between those who were doing harm and those being harmed, and I hope I also inspired others to step up.
After 10 years in the State House, I am a different legislator — I’ve taken the lessons that my parents, retired Army Colonels, taught me: to take responsibility and commit to service, to push for fairness and courage, and I’ve reinforced them in my work as a legislator.
And now I’m ready to take those values from representing our state’s largest city to leading the Commonwealth and the 13 million people in Pennsylvania.
I’m sick of our state Democratic politics being pushed toward the middle to appease the gerrymandered Republican districts.
We are the antidote to broken politics.
My time in the legislature has taught me so much about how our state government works and confirmed how much it doesn’t work for too many people.
These last 4 years have demanded a lot from a lot of us, and I’ve proven I won’t back down from challenges because there are Pennsylvanians who are worth struggling for.
I want to bring visionary leadership based on lived experience and shared values to the office of Lieutenant Governor.
I hope you’re with me,