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Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims, a controversial Democrat and LGBTQ activist, announced he is running for lieutenant governor Monday.
In 2019, the Democrat faced backlash for harassing an elderly woman and offering $100 to anyone who doxed teenage girls praying outside a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood abortion mill.
“Push back against Planned Parenthood protestors, PLEASE!” Sims wrote on Twitter. “They prey on young women, they use white privilege, & shame. They’re racist, classist, bigots who NEED & DESERVE our righteous opposition. Push back, please!”
Nationally syndicated radio host Todd Starnes called Sims a “gutless, cowardly bully” for targeting innocent women and girls, and questioned why the “dangerous” lawmaker wasn’t banned from social media.
“Democrats should be appalled by this sicko’s actions,” the host of the Todd Starnes Radio Show said. “Frankly, he should face censure or expulsion from the statehouse. I can’t imagine any political party giving safe harbor to a lawmaker who brazenly preys on children and the elderly.”
Sims, in his launch video for lieutenant governor, touted his “values” of “empathy” and “courage.”
The state representative has previously apologized — but not to the teen girls or the elderly woman — in a Planned Parenthood fundraising email posted by New York Post columnist Salena Zito on Twitter.
“I wanted to send an apology,” Sims wrote. “I recognize my behavior was aggressive and that I acted in an inappropriate way. For that, I am truly sorry.”
The state representative then went after pro-life supporters.
“I’m angry that pro-life protesters use white privilege and racism to attack people of color in my district and across the nation,” Sims said. “I’m angry that despite abortion being legal everywhere, anti-choice zealots are causing panic, anger, confusion, and rage for so many women.”
Joe and Ashley Garecht, the parents of two of the teen girls — ages 13 and 15 — targeted by Sims ended up raising over $125,000 for the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia as a response to the cash offer to find the names of the teen girls peacefully praying during Holy Week.
Garecht weighed in on Sims’ candidacy Monday.
“Brian Sims is a disgrace, and our commonwealth deserves better,” he wrote on Twitter. “Any governor candidate who allies with him should be prepared. We held a rally with 2000 people in Philly when Sims did this. We will be just as vocal against your candidacy if you team up with Sims.”
Sims is running to replace the current lieutenant governor, Democrat John Fetterman, who is running for the state’s open Senate seat.
The controversial lawmaker has represented his Philadelphia district in the state legislature since 2013, and previously dropped out of a race for Congress in 2016.