A Democratic lawmaker who harassed and called for the doxing of pro-life teenage girls has announced his bid for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor.
Brian Sims, who was elected to the Pennsylvania legislature in 2012, announced his candidacy on Monday, WCAU reported.
Sims gained national attention in 2019 when he filmed himself in front of a southeastern Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood offering a reward to anyone who would dox three teenage girls who had been praying outside the clinic.
“What we’ve got here is a bunch of … pseudo-Christian protesters who’ve been out here shaming young girls for being here,” Sims said in the video.
“So, here’s the deal, I’ve got $100 to anybody who will identify these three, and I will donate to Planned Parenthood.”
“We need adults in the room, and I want to bring bold, visionary leadership based on lived experience and shared values to the Commonwealth,” Sims said in a campaign video posted Monday.
He did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The mother of two of the girls Sims filmed, Ashley Garecht, previously told the DCNF that she had brought her 13- and 15-year-old daughters and their friend to pray in front of the abortion clinic.
Garecht said Sims approached her and her children twice, “yelling pretty aggressively” and focusing mainly on the teenage girls.
Sims posted the video to Facebook, where it remained until May 7, 2019, when a user reported it for “promoting graphic violence.” Facebook then removed the video.
The lawmaker later promised to “do better” in a statement accusing pro-life advocates of harassing people entering the Planned Parenthood clinic.
“When I was there on Thursday afternoon, I was not a volunteer escort; I was a neighbor, a concerned citizen and an unwavering supporter of women’s rights and yes, I was aggressive,” he said.
“I know that two wrongs don’t make a right, especially when I’m on the front lines of this civil rights battle. I can do better, and I will do better, for the women of Pennsylvania.”
Almost six months after the incident, Garecht told the DCNF that Sims sent her a card in which he apologized.
“Dear Ashley,” the card read, “I want to reiterate my sincere apologies to you and your family. I regret the harm that I caused and I have learned a great deal from this. I can only ask for your forgiveness and I wish you all the best in the future. Sincerely, Brian Sims.”
Garecht noted that although Sims said he wanted to “reiterate” his apology, he had never personally apologized to her before. She called on him to publicly apologize, but the lawmaker has yet to do so.
“Our family forgave Mr. Sims many months ago and we extend that forgiveness again now,” Garecht told the DCNF at the time.
“It is our sincere hope that Mr. Sims will modify his conduct in the future and that he will stand in defense of all citizens who exercise their First Amendment rights in the public square, including those who advocate for life outside of abortion facilities.”
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A version of this article appeared on the Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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