Malcolm Kenyatta is running for the U.S. Senate.
State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta announced late Thursday night, February 18, that he plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat that has recently opened after Republican Senator Pat Toomey announced he will not seek reelection in 2022.
Kenyatta announced his campaign plans in a video, which you can watch below. In the video, we see Kenyatta talking about the need to tackle poverty across the state of Pennsylvania, the need to fight corporations’ control of the government, and the need for the nation to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Government hasn’t worked for working families like mine,” he shares in the announcement video. “I know what it’s like to see an eviction notice, to work a middle-wage job. My first one was at the age of twelve working to support my family. My dad was a social worker. My mom was a home healthcare aid. No matter how hard they worked, they struggled to make ends meet for me and my siblings.”
“Our state and our nation are at a crossroads,” he later adds. “The devastating toll inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic has left too many families mourning loved ones and struggling to make ends meet, while hatred, violence, and division – like we saw at the Capitol on January 6th – are pulling the country apart at the seams. We need new leaders in the U.S. Senate to better deliver for the American people and I’m exactly the kind of ‘Do-Something Democrat’ that will get results for Pennsylvania.”
— Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (@malcolmkenyatta) February 19, 2021
Kenyatta, a native of Philadelphia, is the first LGBTQ person of color in the PA General Assembly and one of the youngest members of the state legislature. Kenyatta, a Democrat who represents the 181st Legislative District, will now face off with Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who has also announced plans to run for the Senate seat. In addition, other politicians are rumored to be interested in running.
Kenyatta began his political journey after graduating from Temple University. Kenyatta worked several political jobs such as being the campaign manager for lesbian community advocate Sherrie Cohen; serving as a DNC delegate; serving on the boards of Equality Pennsylvania, Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club, and more.
Kenyatta then won the PA House of Reps seat in 2018. Afterward, he spent that last three years successfully shining a spotlight on himself while pushing progressive policies. Kenyatta openly fought for voter rights in the midst of voter suppression tactics from the political right, he openly discussed and depicted his same-sex relationship with Dr. Matt Miller (the two even got engaged), he was a keynote speaker at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and his sense of style has received praised from peers including former President Barack Obama.
But does Malcolm Kenyatta have what it takes to win the U.S. Senate seat? If he does, he’ll become the third openly LGBTQ Black Congressman after Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones both won seats last year.
We’ll see how far Kenyatta’s campaign takes him in the coming months.