McConnell's 2014 challenger endorses Charles Booker in Senate race

McConnell's 2014 challenger endorses Charles Booker in Senate race
© Courtesy Booker Campaign

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the former Kentucky secretary of State who unsuccessfully challenged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellProfessional sports players associations come out against coronavirus liability protections Democratic leaders report 'some progress' in talks with White House Top GOP senator urges agencies to protect renters, banks amid coronavirus aid negotiations MORE (R-Ky.) for his seat in 2014, endorsed state Rep. Charles Booker’s bid for the Democratic Senate nomination on Tuesday.

“Proud to endorse my friend @Booker4KY for U.S. Senate in the Kentucky Democratic Primary!” Grimes tweeted. “Together, let’s elect a new generation of leadership in KY!”

Booker, a first-term state representative, has racked up several high-profile endorsements in recent weeks in his bid to take on McConnell in November, including from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersCuba spells trouble for Bass's VP hopes Trump Spanish-language ad equates progressives, socialists Biden's tax plan may not add up MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTrump campaign rolls out TV spots in early voting states after advertising pause Trump adviser Jason Miller: Biden running mate pick 'his political living will' 'Squad' member Rashida Tlaib faces strong primary challenger MORE (D-N.Y.), two of the most prominent progressives in Congress.

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Booker has also scored endorsements from Kentucky’s two largest newspapers, the Louisville Courier Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader.

The endorsements are at odds with Senate Democratic leaders in Washington, who recruited and have thrown their support behind Amy McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot who ran unsuccessfully against Rep. Andy BarrAndy BarrThe Hill's Campaign Report: The political heavyweights in Tuesday's primary fights Democrat Josh Hicks wins Kentucky primary to challenge Andy Barr McGrath fends off Booker to win Kentucky Senate primary MORE (R-Ky.) in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District in 2018.

McGrath has proven to be adept at fundraising and has a staggering financial advantage over other candidates in the race, Democrat or Republican. Her latest fundraising report, covering the stretch between April 1 and June 3, showed her raking in nearly $11.3 million. She has more than $19.3 million in cash on hand.

By comparison, Booker brought in about $476,000 during the same two-month period and finished with only about $285,000 in the bank.

Despite the massive financial gap between McGrath and Booker, the freshman state lawmaker has gained considerable momentum in recent weeks and has emerged as a serious force in Kentucky’s June 23 primary.