NewsCovering Kentucky


Booker's new campaign ad uses controversial imagery, Sen. Paul responds

Posted at 12:35 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 21:23:54-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Charles Booker (D), the first Black Kentuckian to win the U.S. Senate nomination, stands with a noose around his neck in a new campaign ad.

The ad which was released Wednesday begins with a content warning. The controversial imagery may be difficult for some people to watch.

But for Booker, it seems personal. He often speaks about what his ancestors had to go through in Kentucky.

"My ancestors were enslaved in this Commonwealth. My uncles were lynched in this Commonwealth," Booker said the night he won the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination. "There was a time [when] my family was not seen as human beings in the Commonwealth of Kentucky."

Booker's ad attacks his opponent, Sen. Rand Paul, for holding up legislation in 2020 that would have made lynching a federal crime.

"The very person who compared expanded health care to slavery. The person who said he would have opposed the Civil Rights Act. The person who singlehandedly blocked an antilynching act from being federal law," Booker says in the ad.

However, the ad does not mention that Paul co-sponsored a new, bipartisan version of that bill. and the senate unanimously voted to pass the updated Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act.

Paul's campaign tells LEX 18 that "Dr. Paul worked diligently to strengthen the language of this legislation and is a cosponsor of the bill that now ensures that federal law will define lynching as the absolutely heinous crime that it is. Any attempt to state otherwise is a desperate misrepresentation of the facts."