Gay Pennsylvania state legislator Brian Sims announced this morning he is running for Congress. Sims joins two other candidates seeking to unseat incumbent Rep. Chaka Fattah, a Democrat.
Fattah, Philadelphia's 11-term congressman, hasn't had a serious challenger since 1994 according to the Philadelphia Daily News. But Fattah is now fighting for his political life after being indicted earlier this year on corruption charges stemming from allegations he used public and charitable funds to repay campaign debts, among other charges. Fattah has repeatedly denied that the charges are true.
Sims was the first out gay man to win a seat in the Pennsylvania state legislature. He was elected in 2012.
"I’ve spent my life taking on big challenges in order to do what’s right," Sims said in a prepared statement. "Whether tackling gender and pay equity as a civil rights attorney, or standing up for justice reform in Harrisburg, I’ve never backed down from the big fights. And I never will.
"We need a progressive Congressman who will stand up for opportunity and justice for everyone, not just those at the top. In Congress, I’ll fight to invest in our kids and our classrooms, create real economic fairness and opportunity, and stand up to the NRA to get the guns off our streets."
The winner of the Democrat primary race is seen as very likely to win the congressional seat. The district, which includes a large swath of Philadelphia, is one of the most heavily Democrat in the nation; Robert N. McGarvey was the last Republican elected to the seat in 1947.
Never one to shy away from his sexuality, Sims makes references to Kim Davis and marriage equality in his campaign announcement video, which you can watch below.