Well, it’s official.
Last week, we reported that State Rep. Brian Sims was preparing to run for Congress. Today he officially jumped in.
“I’ve spent my life taking on big challenges in order to do what’s right,” said Sims. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Sims will be running against incumbent Congressman Chaka Fattah. Rep. Fattah is under indictment on 29 counts but is still seen as difficult to defeat. The main obstacle is that Fattah is the only black member of Congress from PA and his district is overwhelmingly black.
The theory is that black voters will be hesitant to support a white challenger.
To combat that belief, Sims’ announcement video connects him to the nation’s eternal civil rights struggle. The ad connects America’s founding in Philadelphia to the women’s suffrage movement, the civil rights movement and the LGBT rights movement. It also contains shots at Donald Trump and Kim Davis as well as a show of support for the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
Sims was the first openly gay person elected to the State Legislature. That bit of personal history isn’t explicitly mentioned but his civil rights work is. The implicit message is that Sims knows what discrimination feels like and therefore has a unique ability to represent a minority-majority district.
The 2nd district is rated D+38, meaning the winner of the Democratic primary will almost assuredly win the general election as well. Philly Ninth Ward Leader Dan Muroff and Lower Merion Township Commissioner Brian Gordon are also running.