The Pennsylvania state legislator who stoked outrage in 2019 when he harassed an elderly woman and attempted to dox two Christian girls for praying at a Planned Parenthood announced Monday he is running for lieutenant governor.
Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat who represents a portion of downtown Philadelphia and became the first openly gay member of the State Legislature in 2012, released a video earlier this week announcing his candidacy.
Both the governor and lieutenant governor are separately elected offices in Pennsylvania primaries, and current Democratic Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has said he will be vacating the office in 2022 to run for Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) seat in Congress.
“I think every day about the values my Army officer parents instilled in me. To take responsibility, to show empathy, to have courage and to be authentic,” Sims said in his announcement. “I want to put those values to the direct service of the commonwealth.”
“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 also said.
Sims made national headlines in 2019 when he harassed a mother and her two teenage daughters while they were publicly praying outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic. He recorded himself offering $100 to anyone who would be willing to dox them, which means to expose their address and other personal details.
Sims later apologized for the incident, as The Daily Wire reported at the time:
Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat and self-styled LGBT activist, has finally apologized to the pro-life mother and teen girls he harassed and attempted to dox for praying outside an abortion clinic in April.
After Sims live-streamed himself harassing an elderly pro-life female sidewalk counselor outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, the Democrat set his sights on Ashley Garecht, her teen daughters, and their friend. Sims mocked the women and girls, called their faith into question, and offered $100 to his viewers watching the livestream to identify them.
“This weekend I received a card from State Representative Brian Sims apologizing for his actions toward my daughters and their friend on Holy Thursday,” said a statement from Garecht sent to The Daily Wire.
“Our family forgave Mr. Sims many months ago and we extend that forgiveness again now,” she said. “It is our sincere hope that Mr. Sims will modify his conduct in the future and that he will stand in defense of all citizens who exercise their First Amendment rights in the public square, including those who advocate for life outside of abortion facilities.”
“We take Mr. Sims at his word that ‘he has learned a great deal’ from the response to his filmed harassment and intimidation,” Garecht continued, “and so he now bears the responsibility of showing by his actions that dangerous and threatening behavior toward others he disagrees with has no place in our society.”
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