State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta to run for U.S. Senate seat

  • Since assuming office in 2019, State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta says he has shown a commitment to creating an equitable and inclusive society. —Submitted photo
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State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-181, has announced he will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

Kenyatta, who grew up in North Philadelphia, is the vice chair of the state’s Philadelphia delegation. He’s also a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention, as well as several other committees. The 30-year-old is not only one of the youngest members, but also the first Black gay man to serve in the state General Assembly.

Since assuming office in 2019, Kenyatta has shown a commitment to creating an equitable and inclusive society. He has backed proposals such as addressing poverty, raising the minimum wage, protecting workers’ rights, increasing access to mental health care and stemming gun violence.

In 2016 and in 2020, Kenyatta was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, both times garnering the second-highest vote total of any delegate in the state. He was an early supporter of President Joe Biden and was chosen to give a keynote address at the 2020 Democratic National Convention along with a group of other “Rising Stars.” He was one of 20 Electoral College votes cast for Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, in Harrisburg on Dec. 14, 2020.

 

Also on the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman filed a statement of candidacy Feb. 4 with the Federal Election Commission declaring his intention to run for Senate. Fetterman officially entered the U.S. Senate race on Feb. 8. In 2016, he lost in the 2016 primaries for the Senate seat.

 
In 2013, as mayor of Braddock, Fetterman allegedly pointed a shotgun at an unarmed Black man, Chris Miyares, who was jogging. Fetterman, whom political analysts say is the early Democratic front-runner, has defended his conduct. He recently released a statement about the incident, which began when he heard shots coming from a nearby school.

 

“I made a split-second decision to intervene for the safety and protection of my community, and intercepted the person to stop them from going any further until the first-responders could arrive,”

Fetterman said in the statement, noting the proximity of a nearby school and that it was not long after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. “I stayed in my truck and never came in physical contact with the individual. I had my shotgun, but it was never pointed at the individual, and there wasn’t even a round chambered.”

Fetterman said race played no role in his decision to pursue Miyares, whom he said was dressed in black and wearing a face mask.

The date for Pennsylvania’s 2022 Democratic Senate primary has yet to be set.

 
dbell@phillytrib.com 215-893-5746

 

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