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Charles Booker Gets High Profile Endorsements from Bernie Sanders and AOC

Rhonda J. Miller

Charles Booker has been endorsed by two of the nation’s most high-profile progressive politicians in his race for Kentucky’s upcoming U.S. Senate primary.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York on Tuesday endorsed Booker’s campaign.

Booker is a first-term state Representative from Louisville, and one of ten Democratic candidates running in his party’s primary for the U.S. Senate.

Booker was also endorsed Tuesday by the editorial board of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The endorsements come with just two weeks of campaigning left ahead of Kentucky’s June 23 primary. The campaign season has been turned upside-down by the COVID-19 pandemic, cancelling in-person rallies and events for a long stretch of time, and delaying the commonwealth’s primary election from May 26 to June 23.

Booker is hoping the endorsements capture the attention of voters who are mailing in absentee ballots, something now available for all voters who request them, and those who plan to vote at polling places later this month. Much of the focus of the 2020 Democratic U.S. Senate primary has focused on retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, who ran a high-profile, but unsuccessful, bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in 2018.

Speaking Tuesday morning before the endorsements from Sen. Sanders and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez had been announced, Booker said the ongoing protests in Kentucky demanding equal treatment for Black citizens have been a shot in the arm for his campaign.

“I’m inspired. Kentuckians are showing a lot of resolve to not only demand justice now, but to transform our future, and we’re going to do it.”

Booker said he’s been especially impressed with the number of protests in rural communities in Kentucky. He attended a Black Lives Matter rally Monday in Irvine. That town is located in Estill County, where the population is 99%  white.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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