February 16, 2016 at 4:58 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Brian Sims drops congressional bid

Brian Sims, Pennsylvania, gay news, Washington Blade

Gay Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) on Feb. 16, 2016, announced he has ended his congressional campaign. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Gay Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims on Tuesday announced that he has ended his congressional campaign.

“I wanted to personally let you know that today I have decided to end my campaign for U.S. Congress,” said Sims in a message to his supporters.

“When I started this campaign it was because I felt Philadelphians deserved an advocate in Congress — someone who would focus on equality for all Americans, creating more and better jobs, and ending the culture of gun violence in our streets,” wrote the Philadelphia Democrat.

Sims last October announced that he would challenge embattled Congressman Chaka Fattah to represent Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District.

Federal authorities in July 2015 indicted Fattah on racketeering and conspiracy charges. State Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia), Merion Township Commissioner Brian Gordon and Daniel Muroff are also challenging the embattled congressman.

Sims, who was endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund late last year, told his supporters that he will back Evans.

“Having walked the streets of the district and spoken to thousands of neighbors and constituents, I now feel that my friend and colleague, Dwight Evans, is best equipped to take our fight for justice to Washington, D.C., and will serve Philadelphia well in Congress,” said Sims.

Sims in 2012 became the first openly gay person elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature.

The Philadelphia Democrat on Tuesday told his supporters that he is running for re-election.

“I have a re-election campaign to win,” said Sims. “I hope that you will continue to support my efforts, especially as I work to expand civil rights and fight for justice and equality as a state representative.”

Victory Fund CEO Aisha Moodie-Mills in a statement to the Washington Blade said her organization was “honored to have endorsed” Sims in his congressional race.

“We wish him the best as he continues representing the people of Philadelphia in the state legislature,” said Moodie-Mills. “We are proud of Brian, both for the campaign he ran, as well as for his continued commitment to expanding civil rights in Pennsylvania.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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