Charles Booker probes another run for U.S. Senate

Charles Booker probes another run for U.S. Senate
Charles Booker unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 U.S. Senate race, hoping to unseat Mitch McConnell. Now he is exploring a run for Sen. Rand Paul's seat. (Source: Michael Flynn, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A former member of the Kentucky House of Representatives has announced the formation of an exploratory committee as he weighs another possible run for the U.S. Senate.

Charles Booker posted a video message on YouTube to announce the exploratory committee.

“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,” Booker said in a statement. “We can, we will, and we must build a future that works for all of us instead of just for a wealthy few.”

The committee would be the first step in Booker’s expected, second run for statewide office. It would allow him to raise funds and build support before officially announcing a campaign.

“This gives us a chance to hit the ground running from day one with a big statewide coalition that’s undeniable,” Booker told WAVE 3.

Booker sought the Democratic nomination in 2020 to run against Sen. Mitch McConnell but lost the primary to U.S. Marine Corps veteran Amy McGrath. He later launched the advocacy group Hood to the Holler to continue his focus on the issues that comprised his campaign.

“No we have this change to be accountable to the movement that was already growing,” Booker said.

If chosen as the Democratic party’s nominee, Booker would face long odds in a state long represented by Republicans in the Senate. He would be running for the seat currently held by Kentucky’s junior senator, Rand Paul.

“The challenges we’re facing, they’re not partisan, they’re bigger than any one race, they’re bigger than any one person,” Booker said.

In his video message, Booker told supporters he planned to focus on healthcare, jobs, and a “Green New Deal” for Kentucky. He also took aim at his likely challenger.

“[Sen. Rand Paul] is someone that literally does nothing but chase conspiracy theories and makes a mockery of us every time he opens his mouth,” Booker said.

Paul was endorsed by former President Donald Trump on April 9.

In a statement Monday, Paul’s campaign fired back at Booker.

“Kentuckians know there is no greater champion for the values they hold dear than Dr. Rand Paul, and like President Trump stated in his recent endorsement, Dr. Paul has a proven record of fighting the liberal Washington agenda. Kentuckians don’t want to defund the police, to ban the lawful ownership of guns or Nancy Pelosi’s Green New Deal,” a spokesperson said.

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