Fran Nelms officially announced that he will be running in the Democratic primary in the 170th Legislative District.
“I am excited to be running for the 170th, the district that I’ve been lucky enough to call my home,” he said. “As a lifelong resident of Northeast Philadelphia, it would be an honor and a privilege to represent my family, friends and neighbors in Harrisburg.”
Nelms, a 25-year-old resident of Somerton, has previously worked on the federal and state levels in both the public and private sectors. He currently works as a constituent service representative for U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle.
Nelms has been out canvassing since August. His campaign has knocked on over 2,000 doors in the district, and Nelms says he has no plans of slowing down any time soon.
“The positive reception I’ve had at the doorstep has been very encouraging and constantly reminds of me of why I’m doing this: to better improve the lives of the working-class families in Northeast Philadelphia,” he said. “It is my love for my neighborhood and my desire to give back to the communities that have given me so much that truly drives my campaign.”
If elected to office, Nelms says he will advocate for issues that he believes are important as not only a legislator, but as a resident of the Northeast.
“I will fight for jobs, increasing opportunities for middle-class families, advocate for properly funded schools, and support efforts to protect our communities from crime,” he said.
Nelms will face Matt Darragh in the April 26 primary. Darragh will likely have the support of the Democratic ward leaders in the district.
The incumbent is Republican Rep. Martina White.
The Republican Party of Pennsylvania last week endorsed state Sen. John Rafferty for attorney general, Northampton County Executive John Brown for auditor general and Berks County businessman Otto Voit for treasurer.
“It’s time to restore the public’s trust in Pennsylvania’s row offices,” said Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason. “Over the past four years, two of the Democrats elected to our statewide row offices (ex-Treasurer Rob McCord and Attorney General Kathleen Kane) have come under indictment or resigned in disgrace due to their involvement in public corruption. Democrats have made our state row offices the embarrassment of the nation, and Pennsylvanians deserve better.”
Kane might not run again because of the indictment and a lack of campaign funds. Other Democrats running are Allegheny County District Attorney Steve Zappala, Pittsburgh lawyer David Fawcett, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Stollsteimer and Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro. Another possible candidate is Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli.
Rafferty has already been endorsed by the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police, the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association and the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.
Brown will face Democratic Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.
Democrats running for treasurer are Joe Torsella and Albert Baker Knoll. ••