Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, who was the first openly LGBTQ member of the Legislature when elected in 2012, announced on Monday that he is running for lieutenant governor.
The races for governor and lieutenant governor will take place in 2022, but both are expected to get crowded with candidates this year. Gov. Tom Wolf will not be able to run again after serving two terms and incumbent Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has already announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat that incumbent Pat Toomey is retiring from when his term ends next year.
The open senate and gubernatorial races in 2022 mean that this year will be a busy one for political hopefuls vying for the most coveted elected offices in Pennsylvania. The state's other U.S. Senate seat is held by Bob Casey, who is not up for re-election until 2024.
"We need adults in the room, and I want to bring bold visionary leadership based on lived experience and shared values to the Commonwealth," Sims said in a video posted Monday.
He touted his work as a legislator since first elected in 2012. He was re-elected to a fifth term last November to represent the 182 District, which represents parts of Center City and South Philadelphia.
He has often been brash in confrontations with Republican state lawmakers, who have controlled the legislature since Sims took office. Last year, he accused House Republicans of knowing one legislator had contracted COVID-19 but not telling Democrats despite close contact.
“I just spent the better part of 11 weeks sitting across the room from people who would eventually test positive and decided not to tell us,” Sims said last May. “They did do some kind of quarantine. They did do some kind of contact tracing. They I guess being Republican leadership.”
Sims and other Democrats called for an investigation, but state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a fellow Democrat, declined to initiate one.
A Philadelphian, Mike Stack, last held the lieutenant governor's office in 2018. Stack, a longtime Northeast Philly politician, lost his re-election bid that year to Fetterman.