Jul 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Progressive candidate Charles Booker to challenge Rand Paul for Kentucky Senate seat

Rep. Charles Booker (D-KY) speaks at the March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 2020 in Washington.

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/Getty Images

Former Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker announced Thursday he will run to challenge incumbent Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for his seat in 2022.

Why it matters: Booker became a rising star in Kentucky politics last year when he ran as a progressive in the race to challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell. He narrowly lost a primary to Democrat Amy McGrath, who was backed by establishment Democrats and was later resoundingly defeated by McConnell.

  • Democrats have not won a Senate race in Kentucky in nearly three decades.

What he's saying: "If we can encourage the people of Kentucky to believe that things can be better, and that we can achieve them, then we will,” Booker told HuffPost. “As soon as we believe we can win, we will."

  • "There is a real path to beating Rand Paul, but we won’t do without doing that work in addressing issues of racism, and poverty and inequity ― which, on the Democratic side, we haven’t done," he added, per HuffPost.
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