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Pennsylvania Officially Elects First Openly Gay State Legislator

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By Chelsea Karnash

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Pennsylvania has officially elected its first openly gay state representative.

Brian Sims won a decisive victory in the Democratic primary in Philadelphia’s 182nd District back in April of 2012, and late Tuesday night, he announced on his Facebook page that he’d clinched his place in the House of Representatives.

Sims, a Center City attorney, didn’t face a Republican opponent in the November election, but an Independent could have stepped up and announced a bid for the seat.

“I’m honored by the support, humbled by all the hard work, and ready to take the Capitol by storm…a Progressive Storm! It’s going to be a long evening as we wait for the results of all the contested races around the Commonwealth, and the nation! I’m hopeful that when the dust settles, not only will I be joined by other out, LGBT state legislators in Pennsylvania, but hopefully dozens more in legislatures across the country, and our first ever out Senator!” Sims posted on Facebook Tuesday night. “Together, we have made history in Pennsylvania…THANK YOU!”

In Pennsylvania, three other candidates from the LGBT community were seeking election this year: Jeff Dahlander (Susquehanna County, Wayne County and Wyoming County), Chris Dietz (Dauphin) and Kelly Jean McEntee (Dauphin). Both were unsuccessful.

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