Charles Booker

Charles Booker

For those missing sports because of the pandemic, here are a few befitting of a U.S. Senator candidate who has caught unimaginable fire.

Charles Booker is on a 3-point-shooting tear in the fourth quarter.

He’s swinging for a ninth-inning grand slam.

He’s trying to grab an interception and take it to the “house.”

Booker’s racking up big-name endorsements as he looks to depart the state house and make a run at Senate staple Mitch McConnell.

“He’s never run against anyone like me,” Booker said during a phone interview with The Daily Independent, a sister newspaper of The Times-Tribune, last week.

Booker was two weeks old when McConnell, a Republican and the Senate Majority Leader, was elected in 1984.

The University of Louisville graduate and Louisville native said what sets him apart is his willingness to fight for people. Kentucky’s youngest black state lawmaker said his faith led him to set his sights on the Senate seat.

“There’s so much energy out there where Kentuckians are demanding change,” Booker said. “And (McConnell) controls so much at the state level. I’m like, OK, we gotta go after this.”

Booker’s goal is to battle for the “ignored” and “abandoned” to discover their voice.

“I’m going to jump in the fire for you,” he said. “I want people to know I give a damn about them.”

Booker is collecting support left and right — both metaphorically and politically speaking, he says.

“I have a very diverse coalition,” he said. “I’m not playing the politics game, so I think that’s why. I call BS when I see it. I’m a real person.”

The issue about which he’s most passionate, Booker said, is ending generational poverty.

“I talk about Medicare for all, understanding that health care is an economic policy,” said Booker, adding that he despises seeing barriers for thriving, productive citizens.

Booker evokes memories of FDR when he talks of the “Kentucky New Deal,” which focuses on job creation for folks “left high and dry” by the absence of coal occupations, improved technological infrastructure and investing in sustainable energy. He’s an advocate for Universal Basic Income.

Booker entered into the Senate race in January, but Amy McGrath has long been labeled the frontrunner. Mike Broihier is another Democratic candidate who’s campaign has picked up steam over the last several months. Booker’s popularity has soared, though, over the last few weeks. Will it be enough for him?

“The biggest challenge is making sure everyone knows how to vote,” he said. “The process has been confusing.”

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Monday. Visit vrsws.sos.ky.gov/ovrweb/govoteky or kentuckyvotes.com for more information. The primary Election Day is June 23.

Booker said he never thought he’d run for U.S. Senate, but six people, specifically, inspired him to accomplish this mission: four cousins who have been murdered over the last four years, and his two daughters.

“There were things I complained about when I was little, and now I’m hearing my daughters making the same complaints I was,” he said. “What am I going to do about this?

“It’s time to fight for our future,” he said.

(606) 326-2664 |

asnyder@dailyindependent.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Daily Independent has previously published stories on U.S. Senate candidates Amy McGrath and Mike Broihier.

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