Listen to this article here
Former Democratic state Rep. Charles Booker easily won his primary race and will challenge Kentucky’s GOP Senator Rand Paul in the battle for Paul’s congressional seat.
According to the Courier-Journal, Booker and Paul were widely seen as the frontrunners in their party’s primaries, so their victories didn’t come as a big surprise. However, Booker made some history in Kentucky as the first Black person the Democratic Party has nominated for a U.S. Senate seat in the state.
Booker makes history but acknowledges job is not done until Rand Paul is out of office.
In fact, he’s the first Black person the Democratic Party in Kentucky has nominated for any statewide office.
“This is about our future,” he said. “This is about ending generational poverty. This is about grabbing racism by the roots and pulling it out. This is about healing. It’s about humanity, y’all.”
Charles Booker took home over 70% of votes.
Booker had earned 77% of the vote with 5% of the vote counted when the Associated Press called the race for him at 7:11 p.m. Tuesday. By 11:30 p.m., he was sitting at 73%, with 83% of the vote counted.
Booker jumped into Kentucky’s 2022 Senate race early, launching his campaign last July. His star rose during his 2020 campaign for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s seat, which got national attention as he joined Louisville’s historic racial justice protests.
Even though he narrowly lost to Democratic frontrunner Amy McGrath in his party’s primary that year, Charles Booker’s work continued nonetheless. He later founded the nonprofit advocacy group Hood to the Holler in 2020, launched his new Senate bid in 2021 and just published a memoir.
While Booker never got the chance to face off against McConnell in a fall election, Democratic voters in Kentucky decided Tuesday to give him the opportunity to do that against Paul.
Until campaign finance laws are rewritten, money in politics is the name of the game.
According to the Courier-Journal, Rand Paul’s campaign had raked in over $18 million as of April 27, with about $8.7 million left in cash on hand. Comparatively, Booker’s campaign had raised nearly $3.4 million overall as of April 27, with around $474,000 left in cash on hand.
Charles Booker has acknowledged the difficulty of defeating a Republican incumbent like Paul, but he also maintains he and other Democrats can pull it off through a grassroots-fueled campaign.
So, this time around, we don’t care about how much money they raise or throw at me,” he said. “We’re going to out-organize them. We’ll lift up our small-dollar support. We have a lot of national support as well because allies around the country want to get rid of Rand Paul.