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Beshear endorses Booker in U.S. Senate bid against Rand Paul

Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Charles Booker speaks at the 142nd Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County in August 2022.
Roberto Roldan
Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Charles Booker speaks at the 142nd Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County in August 2022.

Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Charles Booker’s campaign announced Thursday that fellow Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear is backing the candidate in his bid against incumbent Republican Sen. Rand Paul in November’s general election.

This is a key endorsement for Booker, the first Black nominee for federal office in Kentucky’s history. His campaign has also been backed by former Governors Martha Layne Collins and Paul Patton as well as Lt. Governors Jerry Abramson and Daniel Mongiardo.

The announcement of Beshear’s endorsement has been anticipated since Booker’s successful primary run in May. Now, Booker’s campaign says he has the full endorsement of the governor.

“Kentuckians deserve a Senator that fights for good jobs, access to high quality, affordable healthcare and is a champion for public education. Further, Kentuckians deserve a Senator who understands the power of our common bonds, and knows that we are stronger when we stand together,” Beshear said in the campaign release. “During my time as Governor, we have faced incredibly challenging times. Devastating floods, unprecedented tornadoes, and a crushing pandemic. I am proud of the resilience, compassion, and determination the people of Kentucky have shown in these hard times, and I know we need a United States Senator who will stand in the gap and fight by our side. Charles has proven this type of leadership over the years, and I am honored to endorse him as Kentucky’s next United States Senator.”

The Louisville native has also been endorsed by a number of national progressive figures, including Senators Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Kentucky Republican Party spokesman Sean Southard tweeted that the governor’s endorsement of Booker shows Beshear “is in lockstep with a far left radical, who wants to defund the police and institute a green new deal.”

Booker expressed his gratitude for the governor’s endorsement in the release, saying Beshear’s backing could help him achieve his priority as a Kentuckian, which is to “build coalitions at every level that will help [Kentuckians] secure life, freedom and prosperity.”

“This grassroots movement is inspired by regular Kentuckians standing together from the hood to the holler,” Booker said. “I am grateful that these proven leaders believe in our potential to win the future, and have expressed their support for our campaign. Our momentum is real, our campaign is growing, and in November, we will retire Rand Paul.”

A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.
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