Lou Lanni on Running for State Rep as an LGBTQ Candidate

Photo provided by Lou Lanni.

Photo provided by Lou Lanni.

This 182nd District House seat looks highly competitive. What are you bringing to the table that’s distinctly different from others running?
Experience. Experience in life. Experience in business as a long time realtor who negotiates for a living. Experience as a policeman who dealt with many serious, and at times deadly, situations. And experience as a lifelong Philadelphian who knows our city and its people inside out — the only one in the field of four candidates, I notice. In the course of my life, I’ve learned how to deal with a wide variety of people in many different, and sometimes demanding, situations. Understanding personalities, seeing things from the other person’s perspective, and knowing when to compromise is the key to being a successful legislator. Knowing how to combine with others to get the job done, being willing to negotiate, and being open to compromise is the way government should work. A “my way or the highway” attitude will never work in Harrisburg. In spite of all the glowing accolades my competitors have assigned themselves, I know that I am the one person in the field ready to lead from day one. Read more »

State House Candidate Ben Waxman on Running as an LGBTQ Ally

Ben Waxman is running for State Representative of the 182nd district, which occupies the Gayborhood;photo provided by Waxman.

Ben Waxman is running for representative of the 182nd District, which includes the Gayborhood; photo provided by Waxman.

What is the primary reason you’re running for office?
Over the past four years, Republicans in Harrisburg cut over $400 million from Philadelphia’s public schools. The results have been catastrophic. We have an entire generation of students who don’t have access to a guidance counselor, full-time nurse, or extracurricular programs. Class sizes have exploded, with more than 30 students in a classroom. That is unacceptable and will have devastating consequences for the entire city. I’m running now because the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is ground zero for this fight, and Philadelphia needs a champion in Harrisburg. Read more »

Will Brian Sims Fight Off Two Ballot Challenges?

State Rep. Brian Sims

State Rep. Brian Sims

When state Rep. Brian Sims dropped out of the 2nd Congressional District race last week, some political observers speculated that it meant he would have a smoother reelection campaign ahead.

Perhaps the race won’t be as uneventful as some thought, though. On Tuesday, Sims’ nominating petitions were challenged by two separate groups of people. Attorney Charles Gibbs filed one challenge on behalf of Walter Spencer and Sunanda Ghosh. Lawyer Lawrence Otter filed another on behalf of Michael Connor and Allison Andrew. Read more »

Brian Sims Just Dropped Out of the Congressional Race

State Rep. Brian Sims

State Rep. Brian Sims

The rumors that have been flying in Philadelphia’s political circles are true: State Rep. Brian Sims is dropping out of the 2nd Congressional District race and endorsing Dwight Evans.

Sims announced the news on Tuesday afternoon. “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,” he said on Facebook. “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.”

What kind of impact will this have on the race? Read more »

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 »

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