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Rep. Charles Booker rallies supporters in Louisville

charles booker rally.jpeg
Posted at 4:56 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 19:53:17-05

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Democratic state lawmaker officially announced at a rally on Tuesday that he is launching an exploratory committee for U.S. Senate.

Surrounded by family, friends and supporters at the Port Shaw Community Center in Louisville, Representative Charles Booker says the exploratory is not a campaign, but the start of a movement.

"We've been ignored. We've been drowned out. Corrupt politicians pad their pockets. They don't care about us. The political process is closed off. They won't even let us in the room. And our voices are too important. Matter of fact, our voices are all that what really matters because the power is in the people," said Rep. Booker.

Booker told the story of how he still shares some of the struggles of his grandparents and parents, and hopes for a better future for younger generations.

"So this movement is about elevating your voice. About hearing you for real. No games. Your voice because you are what matters," said Booker.

The legislator said he wants to deliver a Green New Deal to protect families, good-paying jobs to keep the lights on, affordable health care, and to give the office of the Senate back to the people.

"This is not about me. It's not about Mitch McConnell. It's not about anyone else pursuing this office. It's sincerely is about you," said Booker.

If he runs, Booker would first have to come out on top in the Democratic primary to likely face the longtime Republican senator.

Booker says he believes because his foundation of faith is restored by watching people fight the power. He referenced the teachers flooding the Capitol during the legislative session, and the Harlan County miners fighting for their paychecks this summer.

"And it meant to them that if I have to stand on this track and block this train from leaving, and taking my livelihood with it, that's what I'm gonna do," said Booker.

The Democrat says the time to wait is over, and the time to act is now.

"Us taking a stand across the Commonwealth, and pushing back on the narrative that corruption is all we have to accept. This is a matter of urgency to me, and quite honestly, it is a matter of survival," said Booker.

If Booker decides to run, he would join a list of Democrats vying for the party's nomination in the 2020 Senate race, a field that currently includes retired Lt. Col. Amy McGrath.

Former 'Hey Kentucky' host and KSR founder Matt Jones has formed an exploratory committee but has not made a formal announcement declaring his intentions.