HARRISBURG, Pa. (ErieNewsNow) - As a 10-year member of the Pennsylvania State Legislature, and as the son of two retired Army Lieutenant Colonels, Philadelphia State Representative Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) says he knows what’s required for the role of Lieutenant Governor. 

“What we need from a Lieutenant Governor right now, more than any time in contemporary history, is experience and discipline - the two things that I bring to this race, the two things that I have brought to my career,” said Sims. 

Sims, the first openly gay person to be elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature, would be Pennsylvania's first openly LGBTQ+ Lieutenant Governor. 

“I'm very, very proud to have been the first out person elected to our state legislature. I am much prouder of the fact that I was not the last,” said Sims. 

Sims would also be the first civil rights attorney elected to the position. 

“To be the first ever civil rights attorney to chair the Board of Pardons, to be able to use that mechanism to correct just some of the mistakes of a criminal justice system that I've been trying to correct for my entire career, I think it's just a really critical component of this job that far too many people overlook,” said Sims. 

He says fighting for equality has been a cornerstone to his career in public service. 

“My life's work is equality. It's represented in all the policy that I have brought to the general assembly. It's represented in my time as a civil rights attorney and as a disability attorney beforehand,” said Sims. 

With his background and experience in the legislature, he says he has the experience to carry out the three major roles of the Lieutenant Governor. 

“The job of the Lieutenant Governor is threefold: To chair the Board of Pardons, something that’s a very serious job to correct some of the ills of our broken criminal justice system. To chair the Emergency Management Council when the governor calls an emergency order, it's the Lieutenant Governor's job to bring together the experts to resolve that, and its oversight of the Senate using the same rules that I have lived by, with, sort of through, and under in the House for the last decade,” said Sims. “I’m the only person running for this seat that has as much experience with the rules that we would implement as the Lieutenant Governor in the Senate.” 

If elected, Sims would also fight for issues he’s prioritized throughout his career. 

“The fights for women's and reproductive rights, racial and ethnic justice, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ civil rights, for the rights of immigrants and for the environment,” said Sims. “And that's going to stay true no matter what I do next, but especially if I am lucky enough to serve as the next Lieutenant Governor,” he added. 

He says campaigning statewide, not just in areas like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, is how Democrats will be successful in 2022. 

“The answer for us in 2022, as Democrats, to win and to find success, is for us to recognize that Democrats from across the Commonwealth need to be engaged in this election. It's why I'm the candidate that has gone across the Commonwealth campaigning for them and for this race,” said Sims. “We need to do this together, and we've got to stop pretending that there's just two cities in this state.” 

Sims will square off with the other Democratic hopefuls on May 17.