Kentucky Democrat moves closer to McConnell challenge

Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker (D) filed paperwork to launch an exploratory committee for a potential Senate run on Monday, signaling that he is moving closer to challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSherrod Brown backs new North American trade deal: 'This will be the first trade agreement I've ever voted for' McConnell: Bevin pardons 'completely inappropriate' House panel to hold hearing, vote on Trump's new NAFTA proposal MORE (R). 

"It's clear that Kentuckians are ready for a change and they're ready for a movement," Booker, a first-term state legislature, told the Louisville Courier-Journal. "My goal with this process is to make sure that we can build the infrastructure needed to catalyze that."

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The 35-year-old legislator told the Kentucky publication that he hopes to promote progressive causes like the Green New Deal, "Medicare for All" and "taxing millionaires like Mitch McConnell."

"The only thing that makes this worth considering is that we build a movement that helps folks realize their power," Booker told the publication. "That's what matters. And I believe we can do it, and I believe Kentuckians are ready for it."

This is not the first time Booker has signaled interest in challenging McConnell. Booker told the Courier-Journal in July that he was mulling a bid after Democrat Amy McGrath announced she was challenging McConnell. 

McGrath, who nearly unseated four-term Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) in the state's 6th District last year, raked in nearly $11 million in the third quarter alone. 

A July poll conducted by pollster Fabrizio Ward for AARP showed McConnell with 47 percent support, while McGrath carried 46 percent support. 

Booker told the Courier-Journal that raising money is not the be-all-end-all for electing a candidate. 

"I believe, as a Kentuckian, that we need to make sure that we are electing someone not just because they can raise money needed to defeat McConnell, but can inspire future generations to disrupt generational poverty," Booker said.