June 02, 2020
In the Pennsylvania House's 182nd District, Democratic challenger Marisa Shaaban held a narrow lead over incumbent Rep. Brian Sims with 90.43% of precincts reporting, in Tuesday's primary election.
The 182nd District includes parts of Center City, South Philly and North Philly. Due to the unprecedented volume of mail-in ballots, the winners of Pennsylvania's primary races won't be known for several days. Approximately 1.8 million Pennsylvania voters requested mail-in ballots for the primary election, a trend driven by the uncertainties of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Sims, seeking his fifth term, became the legislature's first openly gay member in 2013 and has served as a vocal progressive in Harrisburg. He has been a strong advocate for LGBTQ and reproductive rights during his time in office.
In recent years, Sims' aggressive advocacy has garnered national attention, including a confrontation with a Planned Parenthood protester in Center City. Then last month, Sims created waves when he accused Republicans of covering-up the COVID-19 diagnosis of one of their members.
Shaaban is a policy professional who currently serves as secretary of Philadelphia's 5th Ward.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican challenger Drew Murray, a Villanova native and career sales professional, in November. He ran unopposed on the Republican ticket.
He's opposed Philadelphia's supervised injection sites intended to combat the opioid epidemic, and has also come out against the city's "sanctuary" status for undocumented immigrants.
Murray has stated he hopes to reform Philadelphia's wage and real estate taxes, as well as protect registered community organizations from SLAPP lawsuits that stifle community participation in local affairs.