Charles Booker, a progressive former state lawmaker in Kentucky, has launched his 2022 campaign for the Democratic nomination to run against Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) for the U.S. Senate.
Booker began his campaign on the west side of Louisville, a majority-black area, that he represented in Kentucky’s state House of Representatives.
When he announced his run, he wrote on Twitter: “Let’s make freedom ring. Real freedom, from the hood to the holler, we can start by taking our seat back from Rand Paul. I’m running.”
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In his campaign video, he emphasized the importance of addressing police brutality and systemic racism, citing the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor last year.
He tried to pitch himself to low-income people, particularly black Kentuckians living in urban areas and whites living in the rural mountains, calling them “people in forgotten places.”
The state has not elected a Democrat to the Senate for nearly 30 years.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee wrote on Twitter: “Kentuckians know [Charles Booker] as a proud socialist, who wants to defund the police, take away their guns, hike taxes, and destroy jobs. Booker is too liberal for Kentucky and his Bernie agenda has no place in the state.”
Paul has become one of the most prominent names in the Republican party in recent years. Though he campaigned in the primary presidential elections in 2016 against former President Donald Trump, he has grown into one of Trump’s most fervent supporters.
Paul was reelected into the U.S. Senate in 2016 with a 15-point leading margin and has about $3.1 million in his campaign account.
The only other Democrat that announced his run for the U.S. Senate is former state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins. Booker narrowly lost the Democratic Senate nomination in 2020 to Amy McGrath, who went on to lose to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by a wide margin.
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