Charles Booker Launches His Exploratory Committee

Booker enters the 2022 US Senate race in the hopes of defeating incumbent Rand Paul.


Dylan Stern

Democratic hopeful Charles Booker begins his exploratory committee in the hopes of creating a candidacy for the 2022 U.S. Senate race.

On April 22, former Democratic Kentucky State Representative Charles Booker officially launched his exploratory committee for the 2022 US Senate race. Booker hopes to unseat Republican incumbent Rand Paul in 2022.

Booker was a Kentucky State representative in the state legislature from 2019 – 2021 and was the state’s youngest Black legislator. Booker previously participated in the 2020 US Senate race in the hopes of unseating then-Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R) but lost by a margin of 2.8% to Amy McGrath in the 2020 Democratic primaries.

 “Kentuckians deserve a senator who will fight as hard for us as we fight for each other, and that’s why I am formally announcing an exploratory committee of the U.S. Senate. We can, we will, and we must build a future that works for all of us instead of just for a wealthy few,” Booker said in a news release.

Launching an exploratory committee allows Booker to fundraise and campaign in order to see what the response would be like if he chooses to actually run without formally becoming a candidate in the Senate race.

We can, we will, and we must build a future that works for all of us instead of just for a wealthy few.

— Charles Booker

Booker is politically progressive. He supports progressive policies such as Medicare for All, taking big money out of politics, criminal justice reform, and a Green New Deal. He has previously been endorsed by prominent progressive legislators like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) of Massachusetts.

During his time in the state legislature, Booker sponsored and co-sponsored numerous bills that would implement a range of progressive policies. Many of them include bills on guns and law enforcement, medicine and medical care, civil rights, cannabis, education, and student journalism freedom.

Booker grew up on the West End of Louisville, KY, the area he would later become a representative for, which is said to be one of the poorest areas in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Booker said that as he has traveled across the Commonwealth, he “heard the same hopes, dreams, and fear my mom and I shared in my own hood. I realized that people from all parts of Kentucky were like my family.”

“We all want a society where every single person can be safe in their own homes without the fear of being killed by the government agencies we pay to protect us. Where the air is clean and the water we drink won’t make us sick. Where we all have the same quality healthcare that politicians do. Where it’s not just the billionaires who have money in their pockets and gainful life. Where poverty is a thing of the past,” Booker said in a statement on his campaign site shortly after launching his committee.

Booker has also stayed involved in issues that concern his community and the people of the Commonwealth. Over the summer, after the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, Booker was on the front lines protesting and calling for justice in the killing of Taylor. 

He also created the Hood to the Holler initiative.

Hood to the Holler works “toward the aim of building broad coalitions, breaking down barriers of race and class, and fueling a people-centered movement to build political power and transform our future.” 

Booker is hoping to translate the momentum from his career in state politics and community organizing into a broader movement that can change Kentucky’s representation at the federal level.

“Let’s inspire a movement that defies the odds, defeats the status quo, and wins a future that works for us all,” he said.