Metro Weekly

Brian Sims exploring congressional run

Pennsylvania's only openly gay state representative is mulling a bid against incumbent U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah

Brian Sims (Photo: Pennsylvania House of Representatives, via Wikimedia Commons).

Brian Sims (Photo: Pennsylvania House of Representatives, via Wikimedia Commons).

Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims is weighing the possibility of heading to Washington. 

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sims, Pennsylvania’s only openly gay lawmaker, is fundraising for a “Brian Sims for Congress Exploratory Committee,” and has sent out invitations asking potential donors to “Join Rep. Sims for a candid conversation about bringing ethical behavior back into Philadelphia Area politics.” 

The reference to “ethical behavior” is widely viewed as a dig at U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), who faces charges including racketeering, bank fraud, bribery, and money laundering. He was indicted on those charges in July, and pleaded not guilty. If Sims officially jumps into the race following the formation of his exploratory committee, he would face off against Fattah and fellow candidates Dan Muroff and Brian Gordon for the Second Congressional District seat, which covers parts of West Philadelphia, Center City and suburban Montgomery County.

The Inquirer cites a Facebook post from a Sims supporter, Brett Bunch, who posted a picture of himself with Sims with a caption saying the Center City politician was planning to run for Congress. So far, Sims has declined to comment on the exploratory committee. 

Because the 2nd District is overwhelmingly Democratic — Democrats make up 81 percent of all registered voters — the winner of the primary is favored in the general election. If successfully elected to Congress, Sims would become the seventh member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first from the Keystone State, who is openly gay, lesbian or bisexual.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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