The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund has endorsed State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) in his bid to unseat an embattled congressman to represent Pennsylvania’s 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House.
Aisha Moodie-Mills, CEO of the Victory Fund, announced her organization’s support for Sims in a joint statement on Tuesday with his campaign.
“Brian has been a staunch advocate for civil rights as an attorney, an advocate, and as a legislator in the Pennsylvania General Assembly,” Mills said. “We know Brian will take his fight for equality to Washington, where he’ll be a tireless champion for the LGBT community.”
Sims, who’s gay and declared his bid for a U.S. House seat in October, said “it is an honor” to receive an endorsement from the Victory Fund because fighting for LGBT rights has been his priority.
“I’m running for Congress for the same reason I became a civil rights attorney and the same reason I ran for the State House; I want to fight for those who get left behind by our system and our government,” Sims said. “I will be a relentless advocate for equality and opportunity for people of every race, gender, and sexual identity, and I am proud to have the support of the good people of the Victory Fund in that effort.”
The Victory Fund’s endorsement of Sims was expected. During a brief interview with the Washington Blade in November, Moodie-Mills said she expected the announcement of the endorsement to come shortly.
Sims is challenging incumbent Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), who was indicted in July as a result of alleged roles in a racketeering conspiracy. The primary is set for April 26.
Sims has the distinction of being the first openly gay person elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature, but he’s not the first out person to serve in that body. That distinction belongs to former state Rep. Mike Fleck, a Republican who came as gay after Sims was elected, but before he was seated.