A Philadelphia Democrat has joined the 2022 race for U.S. Senate.
State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) announced his candidacy for the 2022 U.S. Senate race on The ReidOut with Joy Reid on MSNBC on Thursday night.
“America succeeds because every generation steps up to protect, expand the promise of America,” Kenyatta said. “The promise that has excluded, for too long, so many working families whose lives were tough prior to COVID and this deadly pandemic has made those cracks even worse.”
“So, I know we have an opportunity right now to expand that promise. To make sure we have a country that just doesn’t talk about justice and fairness for all, but actually makes it real,” Kenyatta continued. “And it’s with faith in that mission and joy in my heart that I’m announcing here tonight that I’ll be a candidate for the United States Senate to represent the great commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
He also posted an announcement video on social media shortly after his appearance on MSNBC, where he makes the case that he’s “running to be a voice for working families.”
— Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (@malcolmkenyatta) February 19, 2021
Kenyatta, 30, is currently serving his second term in the state House. He secured the Democratic Party nomination for the open seat in the 181st House District in North Philadelphia in 2018 in a five candidate primary, then coasted to win the seat over Republican candidate Milton Street. Kenyatta became the first Black LGTBQ person elected to the Pennsylvania legislature.
In 2020, he ran unopposed to win a second term.
Kenyatta, a progressive Democrat, was an early, vocal supporter of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential bid. He joined the Biden campaign on the trail in multiple states during the primary and was featured in a campaign video as well. During the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Kenyatta was one of three Pennsylvania Democrats featured in the “rising stars” Keynote address.
He enters the race with the support of the American Federation of Teachers, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and the Working Families Party.
However the Democratic field is expected to grow in the coming weeks and months.
According to Politico, others potential Democratic candidates include Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester), Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny), Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, state Sen. Sharif Street, and Philadelphia City Councilmember Helen Gym.
The GOP field is expected to be packed as well.
Sean Gale, an attorney, formally announced his entrance into the race to succeed outgoing GOP Sen. Pat Toomey this week. Other Republicans that are reportedly interested in seeking the GOP nomination according to Politico include, Reps. Mike Kelly (R-Butler), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny), former Congressman Ryan Costello (R-Chester), former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite, former gubernatorial candidate Paul Mango, former Lt. governor candidate Jeff Bartos, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, former U.S. Ambassador Carla Sands, business consultant Craig Snyder, and former congressional candidate Sean Parnell.