Attorney Brian Sims holds a 233-vote lead in the Democratic primary election for Center City's 182nd District state House seat and appears on the cusp of defeating state Rep. Babette Josephs, who has held the seat since 1985.

Sims declared victory Tuesday evening and his campaign Wednesday said he is still confident in the win.  Josephs has not conceded defeat but her spokesman, Dave Scholnick on Wednesday said the math "doesn't look good" for her.

The City Commission, which oversees elections, this morning said that cartridges that hold vote tallies from voting machines are still missing from eight machines in two wards.  That includes the 8th Ward, 3rd Division, where Josephs votes.  But Commission staffers said the cartridges likely hold no votes and were not used during the election because they were located in divisions with multiple machines.

There are 139 absentee ballots and five provisional ballots to be tallied.  The Commission will start the official canvass for the election results on Friday at 9 a.m.  State election law requires an automatic recount in an election if the difference in the vote tally between winner and loser is .5 percent or less.  Right now, the math would not require a recount.

Josephs and Sims fought a bruising race.  She and her supporters railed at his entry in the election since he served as her campaign treasurer two years ago.  Sims, who would be the first openly gay state legislator in Harrisburg, received campaign support from national gay and lesbian political groups.  Josephs, who represents one of the wealthiest districts in the state, complained bitterly about Sims having an edge in campaign contributions.