Metro Weekly

Brian Sims accuses Republican colleague of trying to “get me killed”

Gay Pennsylvania lawmaker cited a threat from one of Doug Mastriano's supporters in the wake of the Capitol riots

brian sims, pennsylvania, gay, doug mastriano, republican, trump, capitol
Brian Sims (Photo: Todd Franson) and a screenshot from Doug Mastriano’s Facebook video

Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims has accused a Republican state senator of trying to “get me killed” in the wake of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters.

The gay Democrat specifically cited a Facebook Live video hosted by Sen. Doug Mastriano, who Sims has accused of helping to “promote & coordinate the attack on the Capitol.”

In the video, one of Mastriano’s supporters says Sims has “been rubbing me the wrong way” and threatens to “pay him a visit.”

Mastriano has faced calls to resign after attending the pro-Trump rally in D.C. on Jan. 6, which ended in a crowd — incited by Trump — storming the Capitol and attempting to stop the counting of votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

While Mastriano says he didn’t enter the Capitol, NPR affiliate WHYY said that the senator’s campaign spent “spent thousands of dollars on charter buses” ahead of the rally and posted on Facebook prior to the event offering bus rides to the rally.

Sims openly criticized Mastriano for attending the rally, accusing him of “weeks of seditious conspiracies” and committing “open insurrection” after telling the crowd in D.C. to “rise up.”

“I believe Doug Mastriano’s actions meet the elements required for seditious conspiracy,” he told FOX43 last week. “He should be indicted, tried, and convicted.”

Other lawmakers in Pennsylvania have urged Mastriano to resign in the wake of the protests — which led to the deaths of at least five people, including a Capitol Police officer — including Democratic State Sen. Vincent Hughes, who said Mastriano “needs to be expelled.”

“This was not a bus trip to the casino,” Hughes told WHYY. “This was a trip organized to overthrow the government.”

But things escalated for Sims on Jan. 12 when Mastriano took to Facebook Live to speak to supporters.

Facebook user Kim P Lucca-Williamson, identified as a “Top Fan” of Mastriano, posted a comment saying, “Sims has been rubbing me the wrong way for a few yrs [sic]. Maybe I’ll pay him a visit.”

“@SenMastriano your conspiracies & misinformation campaign have already gotten people killed,” Sims responded in a tweet. “Having #MastrianosArmy my way in the wake of what you did on the 6th and what’s been threatened next week is criminal. Resign immediately.”

In a later tweet, Sims asked if Mastriano was “trying to get me killed?”

“You’re a retired @USArmy colonel who already got people killed on the 6th,” he wrote. “This is criminal and you should be court marshaled and prosecuted.”

Sims urged a response from Facebook, alleging that Mastriano was using the social network’s platform to “put lives in direct danger! PLEASE shut this account down & save the next life that this monster and his followers will try to take.”

Mastriano issued a statement last week condemning the attempted insurrection that occurred at the Capitol, claiming he went to D.C. “to support President Trump,” but didn’t “enter the Capitol building, walk on the Capitol steps or go beyond police lines.”

The senator is on record opposing LGBTQ equality. His campaign page for the 2019 special election stated that “marriage is between a man and woman — and that no amount of disinformation or political correctness will change these facts.”

In 2019, Mastriano took credit for helping push Donald Trump to allow faith-based adoption and foster agencies to refuse to place children with LGBTQ parents without facing penalties.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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