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Brian Sims, gay former college football captain, loses primary for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor

Sims was the first out gay elected representative in Pennsylvania history.

Brian Sims served for a decade in the Pennsylvania General Assembly before running for Lt. Gov.
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Brian Sims, a gay former college football captain who became the first out state representative in Pennsylvania history, lost his primary race for lieutenant governor Tuesday.

Despite enjoying high name recognition nationwide, Sims was facing an uphill battle. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination for governor, endorsed state rep. Austin Davis, meaning they were essentially running as a ticket.

Davis won with 62.9 percent of the vote. Sims captured 24.8 percent.

“Congratulations to Rep. Austin Davis on his win tonight,” Sims tweeted late Tuesday. “Austin ran a great race and he’ll be a great Lt. Governor. With the primary over, we all must work to elect Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis as our next Governor and Lt. Governor— the stakes are too high for anything else.”

Sims was first elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2012 to represent parts of Philadelphia, and used his unapologetically brash style to promote progressive and LGBTQ causes.

Last year, Sims told Outsports his combativeness stems from a desire to show the discrimination that LGBTQ people still face.

“It’s important oftentimes for straight cis people to recognize the amount of vitriol and backlash that still exists against queer people,” he said. “There are still far too many straight people who are shocked by it, which means they’re not seeing it or not paying attention to it.”

With six-figure followings on social media, Sims enjoys an incredible platform. Though he won’t be returning to the State House next year, he’s destined to make an impact in whatever work he chooses to pursue next.

Follow Brian Sims on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.