State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta enters Pennsylvania's 2022 Senate race

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta announced that he plans to run for the US Senate seat that's coming open with Republican Sen. Pat Toomey's decision not to seek reelection in 2022.

In a video to supporters on Thursday night, Malcolm vowed to tackle poverty across the state, fight against corporate interests, and ensure an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenyatta, a Democrat who represents the 181st Legislative District, joins Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who kicked off his Senate campaign earlier this month.

Kenyatta is a native of Philadelphia and the first openly LGBTQ+ person of color and one of the youngest members elected to the PA General Assembly.

"I am focused on the working men and women of Pennsylvania who need a fighter for them," said Kenyatta. "People don't have to look like me or love like me, to know that I am going to fight for them. I am going to fight for working people," said Kenyatta.

Kenyatte has received early support from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), AFT Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT), the Working Families Party (WFP) and the Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP).

"He is for this generation, what people like Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King and Eugene McCarthy and others were for other generations," said Randi Weingarten with the American Federation of Teachers.

"This is not a moment, Malcolm's candidacy is actually part of a movement and the Working Families Party will help Malcom touch every single corner of the state," said Maurice Mitchel with the Working Families Party.

Other candidates rumored to be eyeing the race include Rep. Conor Lamb, a moderate Democratic House member also from western Pennsylvania. Across the state, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, state Sen. Sharif Street and US Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, among others, could end up vying for the lion's share of the heavily-Democratic vote in and outside Philadelphia.
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