HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) announced Thursday he will run for Auditor General in 2024.
“I think that it is time that we have an underdog to be the watchdog for working Pennsylvanians,” said Kenyatta outside the state Capitol in Harrisburg.
Kenyatta, 32, was elected to the State House in 2018 with 95.3% support in Philadelphia’s 181st District. When elected, Kenyatta became the first openly LGBTQ+ person of color elected to the state’s General Assembly.
In 2022 he ran an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate, finishing third with 10.8% support behind Lt. Governor John Fetterman and Congressman Conor Lamb. According to the Associated Press, Kenyatta raised $2 million during his Senate race.
Kenyatta currently serves on the House Commerce, Finance, Liquor Control, and State Government committees. On Thursday he announced endorsements from several unions, members of the state’s Democrat U.S. Congressional delegation, state House Speaker Joanna McClinton, and State Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa.
“I want to do this job. I think that what people know about my time here in the legislature and frankly, before I got here, is that I’m absolutely fearless and that I’m going to stand up for working people and stand up to big interests trying to screw them,” said Kenyatta.
Auditor General Timothy DeFoor, a Republican, was elected in 2020 and succeeded Eugene DePasquale. DeFoor’s career started as a Special Investigator with the Commonwealth’s Office of the Inspector General. He then became a Special Agent with the Attorney General’s office and Dauphin County Controller before being elected as the state’s fiscal watchdog.
In a statement Thursday the Auditor General’s office said “We are focused on performing audits and protecting Pennsylvania taxpayers.” abc27 has reached out to DeFoor for comment regarding whether he plans to run for re-election, though he is expected to do so.
DeFoor, whose current term will end on January 21, 2025, recently criticized school districts for raising property taxes while sitting on surpluses. He previously stopped conducting yearly school audits citing too few resources and too long a lag time, rendering the data irrelevant.
Kenyatta says if elected one of his focuses would be rebuilding the department of school audits.
“It makes no sense that our Auditor General is not auditing one of the biggest expenses that we appropriate every year out of this building,” said Kenyatta.
Kenyatta said he also plans to run for re-election to his State House seat, saying “you don’t quit your job because we’re asking for a promotion.”