In With the New

Longtime PA Rep Stephen Kinsey declines to run for reelection – who’s next could be a game-changer

The path to new leadership in NW Philly opened wide up this January when PA State Rep Stephen Kinsey announced his retirement from the seat he has held in the 201st District since 2013.

As rumors swirl about a possible new gig in Cherelle Parker’s administration, a progressive wave appears to be gaining momentum with his constituents — 43% of whom voted against him in the last election. First-timer Andre D. Carroll almost tipped the District in 2022, and now this year his odds look even better!

In addition to Kinsey’s step down, another state leader has come forward to with his enthusiastic endorsement for Andre’s 2024 campaign, highlighting the need for a new generation of representation for Germantown, Logan, and West Oak Lane. In a press release days after Kinsey’s news broke, State Senator Anthony Williams publicly backed Andre’s campaign, commending him for his commitment to serving the community.

For Williams, there’s a strong similarity between Andre and the late great State Rep. David P. Richardson, who formerly served the 201st District before Kinsey. 

His remarks comparing the two were heartfelt and personal:

“David P. Richardson for some is a historical figure. For me, he’s a personal figure. He was an extraordinarily bright young man, he was an extraordinarily effective legislator, and he was an extraordinarily beloved figure in our communities. Dave’s concerns always defined his actions – and that’s what Dave carried around with him always, front and center. That’s the same thing with Andre. You can see right away what he’s focused upon. No distractions and no apologizing.

Many people don’t understand state government, but Dave made it very real and practical. And in this case, Andre – who’s personal story resonates with so many people in the district – is going to make us understand why it’s important to send someone like him to Harrisburg. Not just to fill a seat, not just to be a polite politician, but to actually be a bold voice about change and the unfulfilled needs of many of our constituents.”

The senator knows what he’s talking about – Andre used to work for his office, and was a key member of Williams’s team in 2021. Now, 3 years later, the new candidate is honored to receive his old boss’s endorsement for State Representative in HD201.

If anyone’s counting, this is Andre’s second major endorsement! Earlier last month, Councilmember Isaiah Thomas – the highest vote-getter on City Council in the recent November election – came out to Andre’s campaign launch to show support and advocate for this progressive grassroots campaign.

“If I’m going to continue working for equity and criminal justice reform, I’m going to need partners in Harrisburg who will help me advocate for the changes we need in the City of Philadelphia. I couldn’t be more proud to endorse my good friend and colleague Andre,” Thomas said in a recent video. 

Another milestone: this January 27th, neighbors and community leaders joined Andre in officially opening his campaign office at 6004 Germantown with a small celebration and some good old-fashioned door-knocking.

For many neighbors and local officials, the District is ready for a new generation of leaders to serve and unite the people. “Andre’s not running just to have a title,” Senator Williams said in his endorsement, “He sees the need and will be a great voice for our communities.”

Meanwhile, Andre and his supporters are working hard to secure the signatures they need to get him on the ballot! For more info, follow Team Andre @andredcarroll +

🗳️👍 GET READY TO VOTE — APRIL 23rd! Pennsylvanians will be choosing our party’s nominee for president and our representatives in the US House and Senate. We’ll also vote on nominees for attorney general, auditor general, treasurer, and representatives for the General Assembly. 

To check your registration status, visit IWILLVOTE.COM/PA where you can also register if it turns out you need to re-up. Last day to register to vote is April 8th; last day to request a mail-in ballot is April 16th. Thank you for your civic engagement! A better world depends on us all caring, and doing our part. 🙏🫂💙

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