Progressive Charles Booker Wins Primary to Challenge Rand Paul in November

Former Kentucky Rep. Charles Booker overwhelmingly won the state’s U.S. Senate Democratic primary on Tuesday, taking the progressive candidate one step closer to his goal of unseating far right Republican Sen. Rand Paul in November.

Booker currently holds a record of about 97.9% of votes as of Wednesday morning. won over 73 percentJoshua Blanton was the next most popular candidate by more than 60 points. Booker, a Black racial justice activist, ran on a platform of connecting the “Hood to the holler” – in other words, connecting the state’s urban and rural residents in unity.

“The commonwealth of Kentucky has never had a Black person to be the top of the ticket, to be a major party nominee for U.S. Senate,” Booker said in his acceptance speechTuesday night. “If anybody tells you change is not possible, if anybody tells you that ceilings can’t break, tell them, ‘look at Kentucky.’”

Paul won the Republican nomination with a landslide victory, receiving over 86 percent votes on Wednesday morning.

Polling has foundPaul has a strong chance to win over Booker the red state this fall; a Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy poll from earlier this year found that 55 percent of those polled said they’d vote for the incumbent, while 39 percent said they’d vote for Booker. A far right politician, COVID denier supporter of Donald Trump’s attempted coupPaul was a U.S. senator since 2011, largely representing a capitalist libertarian viewpoint.

Booker won on a Progressive platformAdditional suggestions like Medicare for AllHe calls for a Green New Deal. He has saidKentucky voters have been inspired in recent years by racial injustice movements and there are opportunities to unify Kentuckians, regardless if they are of any race. behind common goals.

Major unions progressive organizationsBooker was supported by many progressive lawmakers who endorsed him. like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York).

Kentucky Republicans are a Republican-friendly state. In the past, Democrats have had difficulty winning against Democrats. The last time that the state had a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate was1999 was more than 20 years ago.

In 2020, Amy McGrath – an establishment-backed Democrat who spent millions to defeat Booker in the primary – roundly lost to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been in office since 1985. McConnell won by nearly 20 points, despite the nearly $91 million spent on the race by McGrath’s campaign.

Political reporters were not available at the time. progressives saidBooker could have wonMcConnell had been defeated by McGrath if the Democratic party establishment hadn’t backed McGrath. the Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board called “unimaginative and uninspiring” in their endorsement of Booker. Despite having been outraised, Booker lost the election by 3 points to McGrath. 50-to-1 in campaign fundsAnalysts said that it was a sign of the progressive appetite of Kentucky voters.

Paul is now over this time, as of the beginning of April. $8 millionAccording to OpenSecrets, Booker has just $470,000 and Booker has approximately $470,000. The race will be closely watched. Booker is facing long odds, but a victory over Paul would be a major win for the progressive wing the Democratic Party.