HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Another Democrat has entered the race for the U.S. Senate. He’s a lawmaker from Philadelphia who is hoping to replace the retiring Pat Toomey and make Pa. history in the process.
He is Black. He is gay. And only 30 years old.
Pennsylvania has never elected a person with any of those traits to the U.S. Senate. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) wants to be the first.
“Let me say this … nothing changes until something changes. People don’t have to look like me or love like me to know that I’m going to fight for them,” Kenyatta said.
A 2-term state Representative from north Philadelphia who caught the eye of national Democrats and spoke at the Biden convention. His charisma has backers swooning.
“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, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
Kenyatta is the second progressive into the Senate race. Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman is also angling for the working-class vote, but Kenyatta grabbed the endorsement of the Working Families Party.
“Malcolm is the person we think provides the broadest candidate not just the progressive candidate but for all of Pennsylvania,” said Maurice Mitchell of the Working Families Party
But winning over all of Pennsylvania won’t be easy.
“It’s a big difference between running in an overwhelmingly black and overwhelmingly Democrat state House seat in north Philly and running across the entire state,” Republican consultant Chris Nicholas said.
Regardless, Kenyatta is ready to put in the work.
“I’m ready to go to Washington and lift up voices of working people who have been ignored for far too long,” Kenyatta said.
Nicholas says the 2022 race will, at the very least, be a competitive race to the finish.
“I will just say what I’ve been saying about this race for months, buckle up because it’s gonna be a wild ride on both sides,” Nicholas said.
Two Democrats are now in the race, but they won’t be the last. There are whispers that Congressman Conor Lamb from the west and Congresswomen Madeleine Dean (D-Pa. 4th District) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa. 6th District) are also interested.
Pennsylvanias, sit tight and stay tuned.