Former state Rep. Babette Josephs, who served 14 terms in the state House before being defeated by Brian Sims in a close 2012 Democratic primary election, today said she will try to win back her 182nd District seat in Center City.
Josephs, 73, is visiting her daughter in the Pacific Northwest and won't return to Philly until March 1, but said campaign volunteers are already circulating nominating petitions to get her on the May 20 primary election ballot. She is the process of registering a new political action committee, which will be called Bring Babette Back.
Sims, 35, reported having $42,029 in his political account as of Dec. 31.* Josephs said she did not raise any money in 2013, which means her PAC will start at $0.
"I'm always outspent. This is not about money," Josephs said. "I'm indefatigable. This is also about having a good campaign team, which I did not have last time. I do this time."
The 2012 race took on a rancorous tone, in part because Sims served as treasurer for Josephs' political action committee in 2010. He won the 2012 primary by 235 votes out of 7,283 ballots cast. Sims was unopposed in the 2012 general election.
Josephs said she is running again because she hears from former constituents and other politicians -- she would not give names -- who complain that Sims is not providing constituent services from his state office.
"I guess that would be excusable if the office holder was doing something in Harrisburg," Josephs said. "He's not. He hasn't gotten anything passed."
UPDATE: Joe Corrigan, a spokesman for Sims, said the freshman legislator “has without a doubt upended the status quo” in the state House and exposed a need for “fresh, progressive ideas” there.
Corrigan added that Sims “is excited to report the progress he has made in his first term to constituents in the coming weeks.”
PoliticsPA.com, citing anonymous sources, first reported this afternoon that Josephs was preparing for another campaign.
* This post has been updated to correct the 2012 fundraising amount.