The Root Interviews Kentucky U.S. Senate Candidate Charles Booker On Instagram Live Today

Kentucky U.S. Senate Candidate Charles Booker
Kentucky U.S. Senate Candidate Charles Booker
Photo: Courtesy of the Charles Booker Campaign For U.S. Senate

If there was ever a moment when a black progressive could win national primary in Kentucky and convince the America people that the state is ready to move beyond Mitch McConnell, state Rep. Charles Booker (D-Louisville) is ready to claim it.


National protests spurred by the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Booker’s hometown have buoyed Booker’s profile and have resurrected hopes that he can actually defeat his toughest primary opponent and Democratic Party establishment pick, Amy McGrath. Booker, 35, was considered a long shot a month ago, but his moving words on police violence and presence at protests in Louisville (which his opponents have largely been absent from) have progressives believing he can pull off an upset similar to what Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) did in 2018. Of course, Massachusetts and New York aren’t Kentucky, but Booker is trying to prove naysayers wrong.

He has some notable believers in The Louisville Courier Journal, the state’s largest newspaper, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

During an hourlong interview with senior reporter Terrell J. Starr on Monday at 12 p.m. ET on The Root’s Instagram Live (@the.root), Booker will break down his legislative priorities, his views on policing, the national protests calling for abolition of policing, his primary race and much more.

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.


Lord Whistledown

I’m really torn. Like Issa Rae said, I root for the black people to win.

But I’m worried that a Bernie progressive type cannot beat Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, which is second to only beating Trump in terms of solving the US’s existential crisis we’re facing. McGrath is basically a non-crazy Republican whose only angle is that she won’t shut up about being a fighter pilot and KY is still very much a red state. Right now, she leads Mitch by a point and Trump leads Biden by 17 points.