Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are less than 48 hours left in this Mid-Year Campaign and our independent journalism needs your help today.
If you value our work, please support Common Dreams. This is our hour of need.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker greets people at the end of the launch event for the Kentucky New Deal on November 6, 2021 in Lexington, KY. (Photo: Booker for Kentucky)

U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker greets people at the end of the launch event for the Kentucky New Deal on November 6, 2021 in Lexington, KY. (Photo: Booker for Kentucky)

Kentucky Progressive Charles Booker Wins Democratic US Senate Primary

"We're going to beat Rand Paul," Booker confidently predicted, by "inspiring a vision that encourages people to believe things can be better."

Brett Wilkins

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."

"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."

"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."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Naomi Klein: The US Is in the Midst of a 'Shock-and-Awe Judicial Coup'

"The rolling judicial coup coming from this court is by no means over," warned the author of "The Shock Doctrine."

Jake Johnson ·


Markey, Bowman Join Climate Coalition in Urging SCOTUS Expansion

"We cannot sit idly by," said Markey, "as extremists on the Supreme Court eviscerate the authorities that the government has had for decades to combat climate change and reduce pollution."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez Says US 'Witnessing a Judicial Coup in Process'

"It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the president."

Brett Wilkins ·


Critics Say Biden Drilling Bonanza 'Won't Lower Gas Prices' But 'Will Worsen Climate Crisis'

"President Biden's massive public lands giveaway in the face of utter climate catastrophe is just the latest sign that his climate commitments are mere rhetoric," said one campaigner.

Kenny Stancil ·


Grave Warnings as Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case That Threatens 'Future of Voting Rights'

"Buckle up," implores one prominent legal scholar. "An extreme decision here could fundamentally alter the balance of power in setting election rules in the states and provide a path for great threats to elections."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo