Matt Wolfe, a Republican candidate for City Council at large, criticized Democratic state Rep. Brian Sims for taking videos showing him verbally attacking pro-life supporters outside of the Planned Parenthood at 12th and Locust streets.
“As I watched the videos Sims posted, I was amazed that an elected official was acting in such a hateful and mean-spirited manner. My amazement quickly turned to anger, as I watched Rep. Sims follow this woman outside of Planned Parenthood for nearly nine minutes, hurling insults attempting to intimidate her. In the next video I watched, Sims offered a $100 bounty if anyone could identify a few teenage girls praying outside of Planned Parenthood. Brian Sims represents the absolute worst in politics,” Wolfe said.
In one video, Sims followed a woman holding a rosary to pray. He described her as an “old white lady” and hurled insults at her.
“Regardless of how you feel about abortion, everyone should condemn Brian Sims’ behavior. To target individual citizens, including minors, with threats of making their personal information public – which could likely lead to violence – is unacceptable.” Wolfe said
Wolfe called Sims a “classless bully” unfit for office, adding that he should be defeated at the polls..
“It is sad when we see individuals act in such a manner, but it is a disgrace coming from an elected official. Elected officials should not spend their time trolling outside of Planned Parenthood threatening peaceful activists. This is not a partisan issue. If Sims were a Republican, I would condemn his behavior. If I were not pro-life, I would condemn his behavior,” he said.
“Sims’ behavior makes it clear that he will do anything for a little attention, no matter how petty his antics. The irony is that Sims attacks these individuals for, in his words, ‘shaming people for something that they have a constitutional right to do.’ Yet, he is doing the exact same thing: Sims is attempting to shame these individuals for exercising rights under the First Amendment.”
Council at-large candidate Isaiah Thomas, a Democrat, received the endorsements of U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle and state Reps. Kevin Boyle, Joe Hohenstein, Jason Dawkins and Ed Neilson.
Thomas, who also enjoys the backing of the Democratic City Committee, is a former Brendan Boyle campaign volunteer.
“My relationship with Brendan Boyle taught me a lot about being a hardworking young candidate. Working with his team over the years has completely changed the way I view politics in this city, and I appreciate their unwavering support of the work I do,” Thomas said.
Boyle and the local state lawmakers join state Reps. Jordan Harris, Joanna McClinton, Morgan Cephas, Chris Rabb, Danilo Burgess and Isabella Fitzgerald in backing Thomas.
“It is very important with my role as a congressman, that I have people in local office who I can work with and better the lives of constituents. I know Isaiah, I believe he has a heart for public service. He’s an incredibly hard worker, and I believe we have a shared vision when it comes to the issues of working-class families,” Brendan Boyle said.
Kevin Boyle said Thomas “will be a very positive force on Council next term.”
Thomas supported Hohenstein when he was elected last November, and the new legislator said he looks forward to Thomas bringing change to City Hall and plans to work with him to improve the state.
Neilson had a brief stint as an at-large councilman.
“I know that Isaiah is ready to hit the ground running and bring change to our city on day one,” he said. “Having worked in almost every recent administration, I know what traits amazing city workers have, and Isaiah is it. I have watched him grow since his first run, and his persistence and hard work have more than impressed me, that is why I’m happy to be standing with him today.”
Thomas has worked as an educator, mentor, athletic director and basketball coach and volunteer for the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males and the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia.
State Rep. Danilo Burgos and state Sen. Tina Tartaglione endorsed state Rep. Angel Cruz, who is challenging City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez (D-7th dist.) in the primary.
“The district will finally receive the constituent services it has been lacking,” Tartaglione said.
Burgos, who once worked for Sanchez, said of Cruz, ““I can’t think of no other candidate more qualified and passionate to serve as councilman.”
Cruz is running on a platform of funding schools, public safety, affordable housing, combating the opioid crisis, ending councilmanic prerogative and enacting term limits.
Mayor Jim Kenney announced his endorsements of candidates for Council at large, city elections commissioner and register of wills.
None of the choices are surprising, since they are all backed by the Democratic City Committee.
The mayor endorsed challengers Isaiah Thomas and Katherine Gilmore Richardson and incumbents Derek Green, and Helen Gym for Council at large. He did not endorse Councilman Allan Domb.
Kenney is supporting challenger Omar Sabir and chairwoman Lisa Deeley for commissioner and incumbent Ronald Donatucci for register of wills.
“I’m proud to endorse these well-qualified office-holders and candidates,” he said. “I hope the voters of Philadelphia will join me in supporting them in the Democratic primary on May 21.”
Meanwhile, Kenney was endorsed by five black faith leaders: Bishop Ernest C. Morris, Pastor James S. Hall, the Rev. Kevin R. Johnson, the Rev. James Moore and Bishop J. Louis Felton.
Johnson cited the mayor’s work to return the School District of Philadelphia to local control and raise the minimum wage for city employees.
“I really enjoyed meeting today with Bishop Morris, Pastor Hall, Rev. Johnson, Rev. Moore and Bishop Felton about how we’re going to strengthen our neighborhoods,” Kenney said. “I’m very proud and honored to have their support and look forward to continuing our work together.” ••