Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor: Austin Davis, Brian Sims, and Ray Sosa | Election Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor: Austin Davis, Brian Sims, and Ray Sosa

click to enlarge Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor: Austin Davis, Brian Sims, and Ray Sosa
CP Illustration: Lucy Chen
Brian Sims, Ray Sosa,and Austin Davis
The lieutenant governor is the state’s second-in-command who would take over if the Governor dies or resigns. Can also be an effective advocate on specific issues. Josh Shapiro, the lone candidate in the Democratic primary, has endorsed Austin Davis, but voters are the ones who will decide which candidate will share the ticket with him this fall.

Austin Davis

Bio: Has served since 2018 as the first Black state Rep. in 35th District. Represents the Mon Valley, which includes both majority Black boroughs and white working class residents. Graduated from University of Pittsburgh. Former aide to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, where he served as his proxy on Jail Oversight Board, among other tasks. Lives in McKeesport.

Criminal Justice: Against cash bail. Argues that financial situations should “not be a burden to someone being held in jail for weeks” while they wait for a sentencing or hearing. Adds that many folks “who look like me” are the ones who can’t afford bail, leading to job loss. Says jails are supposed to be “reformatory institutions.”

Development: In 2019, celebrated the opening of the Tube City Center, providing "unique office space" to McKeesport. In December 2021, tweeted that he's brought "almost $4 million to the Mon Valley for economic development and revitalization," adds he wants to make 2022 even better.

Abortion: Says Roe V. Wade is under threat, and he’d always protect the right to choose.

Endorsements: Attorney General (and gubernatorial candidate) Josh Shapiro, Gov. Tom Wolf, former Gov. Ed Rendell, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, Mike Doyle (D-Forest Hills), Allegheny County Democratic Committee, Pa. SEIU State Council, Pa. AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood PA PAC, Steel City Stonewall Democrats, etc.

Brian Sims

Bio: First openly gay person elected to the General Assembly. Served as state Rep. for Center City Philadelphia since 2012. Former policy attorney who served as staff counsel for policy and planning at Philadelphia Bar Association. Graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and Michigan State University College of Law.

Criminal Justice: Wants to reform “our broken criminal justice system.” Tweeted “we should all believe in second chances” and introduced bill ensuring formerly incarcerated people are informed of rights after release, and one identifying barriers for them to vote. Wants to demilitarize the police; in 2021, introduced a bill to prohibit police from wearing camouflage. Introduced legislation requiring attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor in police deadly force cases.

Development: Says we should have “sustainable development.” Introduced four bills offering tax credits to developers who efficiently update buildings, including energy-efficient windows and construction of green roofs.

Abortion: Tweeted that abortion access is a “constitutional and human right,” and that we need “every tool we have to restore health care access — including a pro-choice Governor and LG in Pennsylvania.”

Endorsements: Monroe Young Democrats of Pennsylvania, LGBTQ Victory Fund, Liberty City LGBTQ Democratic Club, Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks, Lehigh Valley for All, Greater Reading PAC, Stroudsburg Mayor Tarah Probst, Councilmember Khadijah Al Amin, various state Reps., etc.

Ray Sosa

Bio: Banker and insurance agent. Previously ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2018, the first Pa. Latino candidate to run for the position. Graduated from InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico. Was appointed by three governors to multiple committees, including emergency management and response. Born in Puerto Rico, lives in Montgomery County.

Criminal Justice: Believes in post-prison opportunities and rehabilitation and wants to “break the poverty-to-prison pipeline.” Told PCNTV he’s opposed to death penalty and that solitary refinement is a human rights violation. Believes in “common sense gun control” and background checks on every firearm purchase.

Development: Says he wants to fix rural infrastructure, including reforming subsidies and tax structure to “give local farmers an upper-hand,” according to his website.

Abortion: Supports providing funding to Planned Parenthood, according to The Philadelphia Citizen.

Endorsements: None found
This story has been updated at noon on May 4 with additional endorsements for Brian Sims, as provided by his campaign, and on May 9 to replace Austin Davis' Development section.