Pennsylvania Elects First Openly Gay State Legislator
Democrat Brian Sims on Tuesday night won a decisive victory in his Philadelphia district to become Pennsylvania’s first openly gay state representative.
“Tonight we’re celebrating a historic victory for Pennsylvania and for Brian,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund, which endorsed Sims. ”LGBT Pennsylvanians will finally have a voice in their state legislature, and what a strong and unyielding voice it will be. We are thrilled for Brian, who ran a remarkable campaign.”
Sims, a former member of the Victory Campaign Board, is a distinguished policy attorney and civil rights advocate from Center City Philadelphia. The former Staff Counsel for Policy and Planning at the Philadelphia Bar Association, he recently stepped down as the President of the Board of Directors of Equality Pennsylvania.
With 93 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Sims had a clear 52 percent of the vote while Incumbent Democrat Rep. Babette Josephs had only 48 percent.
Sims has prided himself on a clean campaign focused on volume messaging on key issues like job creation. This, with the backing of several large donors, enabled him to overwhelm the competition.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Incumbent Josephs, who held her seat for 27 years, spent thousands messaging that Sims would disenfranchise voters, would support mandatory ultrasounds for women prior to terminations, and attempted to use Sims’ desire for bipartisanship to suggest that he would be a lapdog to Republicans, all of which Sims’ stated positions on these matters denied.
The defeated Babette Josephs now faces an investigation over allegations she may have broken campaign rules, an allegation she has strongly refused.