Kentucky progressive Charles Booker wins Democratic Senate primary

Kentucky progressive Charles Booker wins Democratic Senate primary
Charles Booker in front of Solar Panels in Kentucky (Image via).

Charles Booker—the progressive former Kentucky state lawmaker with a plan to tackle rampant inequality—cruised to victory in Tuesday's U.S. Senate Democratic primary, setting up a November contest against two-term Republican incumbent Rand Paul in which the challenger is vowing to "make history."

"We're going to beat Rand Paul. And let me be clear with you: We're going to blow Rand Paul out," Booker said during an appearance on The Young Turks. "We're gonna do it by doing two things. One, [by] inspiring a vision that encourages people to believe things can be better."

Booker touted his Kentucky New Deal, a plan to curb runaway inequality "which is really about us fighting for family, pushing the partisan divides aside, lifting up our common bonds, and really doing issue-based organizing."

"We're gonna work our asses off," the 37-year-old Louisvillian vowed.

"But on the second side of it, we're gonna beat Rand Paul by naming Rand Paul," he said. "A lot of people don't know what he does; he's a crisis actor, he's a contrarian, he's a fake libertarian, he stokes conspiracy theories."

"We're gonna help people see that he's blocking disaster relief, that he's blocking investments in infrastructure, that he's opposing expanded healthcare—he called it akin to slavery—that he opposed the Civil Rights Act," Booker continued.

"He doesn't believe that we should invest in our home or that we should support our allies abroad," the nominee added. "He's a joke, and we're gonna call him out."

In a separate interview with Lex 18, Booker said he believes his campaign can reach Kentucky voters on both sides of the aisle.

"I'm fighting for issues regardless of party because at the end of the day, putting food on the table, keeping your lights on—doesn't matter what your party is," asserted.

If Booker defeats Paul in November, he will be the first Black U.S. senator in Kentucky history. He would also be the first Democrat from the commonwealth to win a U.S. Senate contest in 30 years.

Kentucky Democratic consultant Kim Geveden told McClatchy that Democrats in the commonwealth "have exactly what they’ve clamored for and deserve—a unified party behind the most progressive candidate we've ever nominated for statewide office."

However, speaking of Booker's campaign, she contended that "unless they get their own house in order, they have a steep uphill battle."

"Most, if not all of the top level staffers who were with Charles in his 2020 primary campaign... have left," Geveden continued. "For whatever reasons, they are no longer involved and it shows."

"To have any meaningful chance to win," she added, "the campaign has a lot of work to do, starting from within."

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