Babette wants her seat back

Posted: February 21, 2014

FORMER state Rep. Babette Josephs, who served 14 terms in the state House and was defeated by Brian Sims in a close 2012 Democratic primary election, is trying to win back the 182nd District seat.

Josephs, 73, of Center City, is visiting her daughter in the Pacific Northwest and won't return until March 1, but said campaign volunteers are circulating nominating petitions to get her on the May 20 primary ballot.

She is registering a new political-action committee, to be called Bring Babette Back.

Sims, 35, reported having $42,029 in his political account as of Dec. 31. But his 2013 campaign-finance report notes that $32,248 was received in "aggregate transfers received in error" from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund in Washington, D.C., and will be refunded. That would leave Sims, a former board member of that group, with $9,781 in his campaign account as of Dec. 31.

Josephs said she did not raise any money in 2013, so her campaign will start with $0.

"I'm always outspent. This is not about money," Josephs said. "I'm indefatigable. This is also about having a good campaign team, which I did not have last time. I do this time."

The 2012 race took on a rancorous tone, in part because Sims served as treasurer for Josephs' political-action committee in 2010. He won the 2012 primary by 235 votes out of 7,283 ballots cast.

Sims was unopposed in the 2012 general election. He is the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania.

Josephs said she is running again because she hears from former constituents and other politicians - she would not give names - who complain that Sims is not providing constituent services from his state office.

"I guess that would be excusable if the officeholder was doing something in Harrisburg," Josephs said. "He's not. He hasn't gotten anything passed."

Joe Corrigan, a spokesman for Sims, said the freshman legislator "has without a doubt upended the status quo" in the state House and exposed a need for "fresh, progressive ideas" there.

Corrigan added that Sims "is excited to report the progress he has made in his first term to constituents in the coming weeks."

PoliticsPA.com, citing anonymous sources, first reported yesterday that Josephs was preparing for another campaign.


On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN

Blog: ph.ly/PhillyClout.com

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