State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) has his eyes set on another statewide office and announced his candidacy for Auditor General during a Thursday press conference.
“I’ve traveled all across this commonwealth and I’ve met so many families just like my own,” he said on his website. “Good people, who work their butts off and still the basic bargain of a good school, a good job, and a safe community is out of reach. I know it all too well. We deserve a government that works for working families. That starts with being serious about fixing what’s broken. And it means having an Auditor General who isn’t afraid to stand up for those too often forgotten by our government.”
Kenyatta ran an unsuccessful campaign last spring for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by John Fetterman.
That run raised the profile of the 32-year-old who is the first openly LGBTQ+ person of color and one of the youngest members elected to the PA General Assembly in 2018.
“I’m running for Auditor General because it’s time for the underdog to be a watchdog for Pennsylvania’s working families,” his website states. “To ask the tough questions, to help reimagine and streamline government, and to help build the coalitions to fix what’s wrong. It’s what I’ve done as a State Representative for nearly five years, working to protect workers’ rights, enact common-sense gun safety policies, and root out government corruption and waste.”
Kenyatta has already lined up many key players in the Commonwealth’s Democratic leadership, receiving endorsements from Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia/Delaware), State Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), Mayor of Pittsburgh Ed Gainey and five members of the state’s Congressional Delegation – Dwight Evans, Matt Cartwright, Madeleine Dean, Susan Wild and Summer Lee.
He has also already been backed by the American Federation of Teachers, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776.
Kenyatta intends to use the office to demand accountability from schools, stand up for workers by taking on wage theft, employee misclassification and union busting, as well as supporting efforts to make communities healthier and safer.
“Folks in every corner of Pennsylvania have welcomed me into their neighborhoods, their homes and their faith communities,” he wrote. “They’ve told me their stories and I’ve shared my own. In those conversations we’ve talked about Pennsylvania’s problems, but also its promise. Young people born today will live into the next century. What we do now and how we do it will determine the inheritance we leave.”
Should Kenyatta earn the nomination, he would likely face Republican Timothy DeFoor, the current Auditor General, in the November 2024 general election.