Brian Sims kicks off run for Penn. lieutenant governor

Wed. February 17, 2021 6:40 AM by Gerald Farinas

photo credit // katherine mcadoo on unsplash
Philadelphia, Penn - Now serving his fifth term in the Pennsylvania legislature, Rep. Brian Sims of Philadelphia is running for lieutenant governor. He was elected in 2012 as the state's first LGBT legislator and quickly became a social media favorite among progressives.

Sims hopes to use the office to further defend values he feels are under attack by devotees of President Donald Trump.

Even incumbent U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, Sims notes, was assailed by fellow Penn. Republicans when he voted to convict the twice impeached president and leader of his own party.

“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,” Sims said in his announcement. “I put myself between those who were doing harm and those being harmed, and I hope I also inspired others to step up.”

“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,” he continued. “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.”

Sims is concerned about moving Democratic party policies toward the middle to make Republicans happy with legislation. He argues this is stalling progress on various domestic issues.

“I'm sick of our state Democratic politics being pushed toward the middle to appease the gerrymandered Republican districts,” he insists. “No more. We are the antidote to broken politics.”

Sims decided to bolt to the race when incumbent Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced his run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by a retiring Toomey.

A rare open executive seat, Sims is expecting to fend off challenges from other Democrats who want the job. Republicans are also lining up to run, as well.

Sims has been credited with convincing Toomey to become one of the leading Republican voices in support of marriage equality and the yet-to-be-passed Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA).

The assemblyman is an attorney who worked as staff counsel for policy and planning at the Philadelphia Bar Association. He served as president of Equality Pennsylvania and was chairman of the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Pennsylvania. He serves on several other LGBT organization boards.

A college football player and team captain, Sims came out to fellow teammates before leading them in the Division II national championship.