Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic former state Rep. Charles Booker breezed through their primary races Tuesday, easily winning their respective party’s nomination in the battle for Paul’s congressional seat.
According to the Associated Press, the 37-year-old former state legislator from Louisville will now face off against Republican Rand Paul in the November midterm elections, and if he wins, would become the first Black U.S. Senator from the Commonwealth.
“It’s official,” Booker tweeted Tuesday night. “I am the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Kentucky. In November, we will make history by defeating Rand Paul and expanding our Senate majority.”
? BREAKING: It’s official. I am the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Kentucky. In November, we will make history by defeating Rand Paul and expanding our Senate majority. Help us start the general election off strong by sharing and chipping in! https://t.co/sIMquRZYeQ
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) May 17, 2022
Booker faces a treacherous political environment in his race against Paul, an incumbent seeking his third term who also easily won his primary on Tuesday. Paul has raised more than $20 million for the 2022 cycle compared to just over $3 million Booker has collected so far. Democrats also haven’t won a U.S. Senate contest in Kentucky in 30 years.
Progressives have, however, steadily increased their power inside Kentucky’s Democratic Party over the past decade, but many Dems are skeptical that a push to the left will make them more competitive.
“They have exactly what they’ve clamored for and deserve – a unified party behind the most progressive candidate we’ve ever nominated for statewide office,” said Kim Geveden, a Democratic consultant in the state, according to McClatchy DC. “This matchup will now test that wisdom.”
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Republican candidate, Kathy Barnette, a Black Republican with a history of supporting Donald Trump and a history of extremist viewpoints, came in dismally behind hedge fund exec Dave McCormack and TV doctor Mehmet Oz in the state’s GOP primary. The two men were locked in a dead heat Wednesday afternoon with more than 100,000 mail-in ballots waiting to be counted.
If you would like to support Charles Booker in helping to outs Rand Paul, click here to donate to his campaign.