Harrisburg pastor and community leader Micah Sims has announced he will run for Congress.
The Democrat plans to challenge Republican Congressman Lou Barletta for Pennsylvania's 11th District.
During his announcement in the Capitol Rotunda, Sims said he can connect with the people of the district. The 45-year-old father of five said he can use his experience as pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Harrisburg to fight for people's needs.
“I offer an opportunity to see that politics isn't about roadblocks, isn't about things we're not doing, but about the things we can do when we learn how to work together,” he said.
Sims said he originally was approached to run in Pennsylvania's 4th District before he decided to run for the 11th. That left the window open for former Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson to make a run for the 4th.
Education, health care, and immigration reform are three key issues Sims said he would fight for if elected. He is still gathering the 1,000 petition signatures required by next Tuesday to be on the primary ballot.
This will be Sims' first run for public office. However, he's worked on campaigns for President Barack Obama, Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse, and city council members.
Sims, a native of Philadelphia, said he will open a church in Harrisburg's southern neighborhoods, which is a small part of the 11th District. Sims said he is focused on serving all 700,000 people living in the congressional district.
“We can't just legislate to the city or legislate to the rural districts,” he said. “We gotta be able to legislate all the way across the board and be able to find a way we can speak to everybody.”