NewsCovering Kentucky


Charles Booker to explore bid for U.S. Senate seat

Posted at 9:57 AM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 19:22:40-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Charles Booker announced Monday he is exploring a run for the United States Senate.

"Kentuckians deserve a senator who will fight as hard for us as we fight for each other, and that’s why I’m formally announcing an exploratory committee for U.S. Senate," said Booker. "We can, we will, and we must build a future that works for all of us instead of just for a wealthy few.”

Booker is a Democrat who served one term in 2018 as a Kentucky state representative in the state 43rd district.

He ran for the US Senate in 2020 on a progressive platform, touting the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

After his close loss in the primary to Amy McGrath, Booker continued his activism by launching "Hood to the Holler." The nonprofit says it focuses on uniting people by breaking down barriers and transforming the future.

If he were to run, Booker would be going for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Rand Paul. Experts say unseating Paul is not an easy task.

"Just the name identity - the brand of Rand Paul - is strong in the state today and will remain so," said Bob Babbage of Babbage Cofounder.

Babbage points to Paul's strong polling and endorsement from former President Donald Trump as proof that Democrats are going to have a difficult time winning this seat. However, he admits every candidate has a chance on some level.

"For a progressive or a liberal to win in Kentucky - statewide - is a very much a difficult, herculean, task," said Babbage. "That's really what Booker faces. Anybody who runs has a chance. We have no idea what the dynamics will be exactly or what could happen that we can't anticipate today. But based on what we know right now, it is a stiff challenge for Booker to take on this incumbent at this time."

However, Booker says he's not afraid of the challenge. He says regardless of whether he chooses to run or not, he's going to keep fighting to change in Kentucky.

"I'm going to be fighting to make sure we transform Kentucky because this place means everything to me," said Booker. "You know, I've got two daughters and I've got one on the way in August. And I want to make sure Kentucky is ready to make sure they can surpass their dreams."

"For folks to say that Kentuckians will support Donald Trump but wouldn't support a black man from the same struggle that they're living in, that is saying we all deserve more money in our pocket, and we deserve to be healthy, and we deserve to transform our future so our children can be safe and that they can thrive - it's an insult to say that Kentuckians aren't ready to choose forward."