The Agenda

Three LGBTQ candidates up for election in Pennsylvania Tuesday

Tuesday, three Victory Fund endorsed candidates face primary elections in Pennsylvania. Turnout is expected to be extremely low, so we are urging LGBTQ and allied voters in the state to get out and vote for these change-making candidates.

Henry Sias is running for the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, Ben Allatt for Harrisburg City Council, and Ernie Schlegel for Reading City Council. Learn more about our candidates below, and then get out and vote!

Henry Sias, Judge, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Henry Sias has dedicated his legal career to civil rights and indigent defense. He has lived in Philadelphia for 10 years, and for most of that time has been working in the state court system clerking for judges or performing civil rights and indigent defense representation. Henry co-founded Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, an organization best known for its Expungement Project. The Expungement Project has provided thousands of free expungements to low-income Philadelphians, allowing them to put their arrest history behind them and move forward to opportunities in employment, housing, and education. Henry has also performed pro bono work with the Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia’s leading health-care provider for the LGBTQ+ community.

Ben Allatt, Harrisburg City Council, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Councilman Ben Allatt was elected to the Harrisburg City Council in 2013 and is running for his second term. In January 2012 Ben joined the board of the Capital Region Stonewall Democrats and currently serves as president. Ben has been active on panels as out professional in the community and was recognized by the Central Penn Business Journal in 2013 as one of the region’s “Top 40 Under 40.”

Ernie Schlegel, Reading City Council, Reading, Pennsylvania

Ernie Schlegel is running for a seat on the Reading City Council in Reading, Pennsylvania. Ernie’s past political involvement includes serving as Chair of the Reading Area Water Authority Board of Directors, Vice Chair of the Berks County Democratic Party and President of the Reading Public Library Board of Trustees. In 2009, he spearheaded efforts to pass a non-discrimination law based on sexual orientation — only the second in the state. If elected, Ernie will be the only LGBTQ member of the city council.