KENTUCKY — Former Democratic Kentucky Representative Charles Booker said he's "strongly considering" running for U.S. Senate in 2022 to unseat Kentucky's incumbent junior senator, Rand Paul.

What You Need To Know

  • Charles Booker is exploring a run for U.S. Senate in 2022

  • The former Kentucky Rep. said he's considering the run on KET on Sunday

  • Sen. Rand Paul (R) is up for reelection in 2022

  • Booker ran for Sen. Mitch McConnell's seat in 2020, but narrowly lost the primary to Amy McGrath

Booker made the announcement Sunday morning on Kentucky Education Television (KET).

"I'm strongly considering a run for United States Senate in 2022 because I believe our work is not done, and we have the ability to tell a new story for Kentucky," Booker said. "And I want to do my part in that. I'm excited about what's ahead for us and I'm giving due consideration to our ability to transform our future in the upcoming year."

Booker ran for Senate in 2020, vying for Senator Mitch McConnell's seat, but narrowly lost the primary to Amy McGrath. McGrath lost the general election in a blowout, handing 79-year-old McConnell his seventh term.

Often being framed as "too progressive" for a state like Kentucky, Booker's approach to politics involves identifying common ground between different communities. That much is evident considering his founding of Hood to the Holler, a nonprofit advocacy group aimed at "building broad coalitions, breaking down barriers of race and class, and fueling a people centered movement to build political power and transform our future."

Sen. Paul — while not as high-profile a figure as McConnell — is an established member of the Republican party, which may lead to a challenging campaign for Booker. Paul has served Kentucky in the Senate since 2011.

Booker has openly slammed Paul via Twitter several times over the past few months, often criticizing the senator's views on social distancing, mask wearing, and vaccines. While Paul has faced criticism from some on his refusal to wear a mask on the Senate floor, the self-described libertarian is well-liked in Kentucky and around the nation, frequently appearing on conservative news commentary shows.

Booker served one term in the Kentucky House of Representatives. He opted to run for McConnell's senate seat in 2020 instead of seeking reelection.


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