PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The race for Pat Toomey’s seat in the U.S. Senate in 2022 is heating up. Democratic Pennsylvania State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, of Philadelphia, announced his candidacy Thursday.
— Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (@malcolmkenyatta) February 19, 2021
Kenyatta, 30, announced his candidacy on Twitter, saying he is “running to be a voice for working families.”READ MORE: 4 Shot Inside Park City Center Mall, Lancaster Police Say
If elected, Kenyatta would be the first openly LGBTQ+ person of color to ever serve in the U.S. Senate, according to the Pennsylvania Working Families Party, which endorsed him.
“Our nation faces unprecedented economic and public health challenges that demand transformative leadership,” Maurice Mitchell, National Director of the Working Families Party said. “Malcolm will make government work on things that will improve people’s lives, like ensuring the COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone, raising the minimum wage, cutting the cost of prescription drugs, making sure we have affordable healthcare for everybody, police and criminal justice reform, and creating good paying clean energy jobs while protecting our environment. We are proud to endorse Malcolm, and we look forward to working together to keep and grow the Democratic Senate majority in 2022.”
Kenyatta also delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in August.READ MORE: 'Everyone Was In Pure Panic': Good Samaritans Rush To Shooting Victims' Aid At Park City Center Mall
Kenyatta, who represents North Philadelphia was first elected to the Pennsylvania House back in 2018.
The grandson of the late civil rights activist Muhammad I. Kenyatta, he became the first openly gay person of color to serve in the state House after he was elected in 2018.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, also a Democrat, previously announced he is seeking the seat.
The Senate seat in the presidential battleground is being left open after two-term Republican U.S. Sen. Toomey announced in October that he would not run again.
On the Republican side, Jeff Bartos, the GOP’s unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor in 2018, has filed paperwork to run, as have more than a half-dozen of unknown or first-time candidates from both parties.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)