LOCAL NEWS: Sims and Waxman to Face Off in State House Primary, Trans-Murder Hearing Delayed, and Foxy Brown Is in Philly!

State Rep. Brian Sims

State Rep. Brian Sims

Ben Waxman has filed to run for Brian Sims’s state House seat.

Ben Waxman, until recently chief spokesman for state Senator Vincent Hughes, announced today that he’s the first to officially file for the Democratic primary in the 182nd District. The 30-year old progressive is the youngest candidate running for the seat, whose district includes the Gayborhood. He’s been making his rounds in the community as well, canvassing hotspots like the William Way Center and informing constituents that he’s a progressive LGBTQ ally. This poses a challenge for openly gay incumbent Brian Sims, who is simultaneously running for the U.S. House of Representatives. Read more »

Insider: Dwight Evans — Not Chaka Fattah — Is the Frontrunner in the Congressional Race

State Rep. Dwight Evans

State Rep. Dwight Evans

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from a Citified insider.)

[Update, Feb. 6] After publication of this op-ed, Philly Mag learned that the author’s firm donated $500 to Dwight Evans’ campaign in December. That information should have been disclosed in this article. Citified regrets the omission.

[Original] This time last week, the race to unseat U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah was playing out with no major surprises. Or so it seemed.

Max Marin at Al Dia had just reported that longtime state Rep. Dwight Evans had $280,000 in the bank. That’s more money than any other challenger has raised in the campaign, but it isn’t exactly blow-you-away money. With $230,000, state Rep. Brian Sims was behind Evans in the money race within the race; Dan Muroff was next with $210,000, and Lower Merion Township Commissioner Brian Gordon rounded out the field with $18,210 (as of September). Fattah, meanwhile, has yet to reveal how much he’s got in the bank.

This was all to be expected: Pundits have long said it would be difficult to unseat Fattah, but that Evans was the best equipped to challenge him. But it’s still early in the campaign. The April 26th primary is a long way off and most voters aren’t fully engaged yet. At least, that’s what I thought.

Then word leaked out Monday that Public Policy Polling, a respected national firm, had conducted a survey of 790 likely primary voters in the 2nd Congressional District, asking them which candidate they liked best. The initial results should surprise just about everyone: Read more »

Dwight Evans Raised a Lot of Money for Chaka Fattah Challenge

State Rep. Dwight Evans and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah | Photos by George Widman and Matt Rourke/AP

State Rep. Dwight Evans and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah | Photos by George Widman and Matt Rourke/AP

State Rep. Dwight Evans says he has raised more than $330,000 in the first eight weeks of his primary campaign for embattled U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah’s seat, Al Dia reports.

Team Evans likely revealed the news before campaign finance reports are due Jan. 31st in hopes of impressing potential donors and garnering press coverage. Evans also says he currently has $280,000 in the bank.

Team Fattah, meanwhile, declined to unveil how much money the incumbent has raised in the last few months. When campaign finance reports were last due in the fall, Fattah had just $822 in his coffers. Much of his money has gone to legal fees: Federal prosecutors charged Fattah with bribery, conspiracy, racketeering, money laundering and other offenses in July. The congressman has denied any wrongdoing. Read more »

Philly’s Political Elders Lament the Lack of Millennials Running for Office

Photo by Bradley Maule

Photo by Bradley Maule

Mayor Michael Nutter is in that glorious final phase of his tenure where he’s calling things exactly as he sees them. With seven weeks left in office and very little to lose, he’s taking on everyone from mega-restaurateur Stephen Starr to elections chief Anthony Clark to the School Reform Commission.

One of his most intriguing targets has been millennials. Over the last few months, he’s been shouting from the rooftops that too few young people are running for elected office in Philadelphia. “Where are younger people?” he asked at Philly Mag’s ThinkFest last week. “Are they even thinking about running for office?”

He’s even gotten mean about it: “I’m increasingly concerned that many young people are just finding other avenues. And, you know, having 9 million followers on Twitter is not your level of political engagement.” Read more »

Who Could Fill Brian Sims’ Shoes as He Takes a Run at Chaka Fattah?

[Updated 10/7/15] Philadelphia state Rep. Brian Sims has finally made it official: He announced Tuesday morning he is campaigning for Congress against incumbent U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah in the 2016 primary election.

Already, some people are reportedly thinking about running for Sims’ seat in the state House, which is also up for grabs next year.

Rumored potential candidates for the 182nd legislative House district include attorney Adam Beck, journalist/civic activist Jon Geeting, former state Rep. Babette Josephs, real estate investment analyst Dan Kessler, small business owner Marisa Piccarreto and state senate staffer Ben Waxman. (After this article was published, Geeting said on Twitter that he has no plans to run.) Read more »

Brian Sims: “I’m Running For Congress!”

From Sims' Facebook page.

From Sims’ Facebook page.

Brian Sims put the speculation to rest this morning when he announced via Facebook that he is, indeed, running for Congress, challenging indicted incumbent Chaka Fattah for his seat in the 2nd Congressional District.

“I’m excited to announce it first right here on Facebook: I’m running for Congress! Will you add your name to join my grassroots team?” he posted to his official page. Read more »

Brian Sims Is Probably Running for Congress

State Rep. Brian Sims

State Rep. Brian Sims

Brian Sims, the 37-year-old Democratic state representative, won’t say whether he’s going to run for Congress. But we’re pretty sure he’s going to run for Congress.

Rumors have been swirling about it for months, Harrisburg insiders have told us he’s already confirmed his plans to run with some people, and Sims recently sent supporters an invitation for an October 6th fundraiser for the “Brian Sims for Congress Exploratory Committee.”

The invitation said attendees could join Sims for “a candid conversation about bringing ethical behavior back to Philadelphia-area politics.” Read more »

Happy Birthday, Brian Sims!

Brian Sims with his boyfriend, Brandon McMullin. Photo by Tara Beth Photography.

Brian Sims with his boyfriend, Brandon McMullin. Photo by Tara Beth Photography.

It is no surprise that we here at G Philly love Brian Sims, as does most of the internet. We’ve covered quite a bit about the openly-gay Pennsylvania State Representative through the years, and given that today is his birthday, we thought it would be swell to round up some of the best pieces we’ve written about Mr. Sims and his influence on Philadelphia and beyond.

Of course, we also wish Brian a very happy birthday! Thanks for all of your hard work for both the State and LGBT folks everywhere.

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