Malcolm Kenyatta was among the many LGBTI candidates celebrating success in the US midterm elections yesterday.
Kenyatta, 27, won the 181st District of Pennsylvania in the states house. He is the second openly gay Representative, joining fellow Democrat Brian Sims. Sims has been in office since 2012 and yesterday enjoyed re-election.
Kenyatta, of North Philadelphia, is also the first black, gay man elected to statewide office in Pennsylvania. Following his success, he told News One, ‘As I said to my team and supporters last night, this was a victory for all those who believe we should raise wages, send our kids to fully funded schools, and keep seniors in their homes.
‘I’m grateful to North Philly for this resounding and historic win. I’m ready to get to work.’
He tweeted a photo, saying: ‘NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!
I’m so humbled to be the next State Representative for the 181st District of Pennsylvania. Together we made history!’
Overcoming homophobia and big success
Kenyatta overcome homophobic campaigning during his campaign to achieve success. On the day of the primaries in May, he discovered flyers plastered around his neighborhood featuring a photo of him and his now ex-husband on their wedding day. Across the flyers was written the message: ‘SAY NO’ to ‘MALCOM KENYATTA.’
However, the last-minute attempt to stir up anti-gay hate failed.
Kenyatta not only won his primary, but he yesterday cruised to success, taking over 95% of the vote. He polled 20,722 votes, against Republican opponent Milton Street’s 1,014. Kenyatta replaces his older cousin: Democrat W. Curtis Thomas, who held the seat since 1989 but chose to retire.
Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, LGBTI candidates for the House of Representatives had mixed results. Although Kenyatta and Sims were successful, Kristin Seale (D) narrowly failed to dislodge Representative Christopher Quinn in the 168th District, and Daniel Smith Jnr (D) failed to take the 12th District.