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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 McConnellImmigration, executive action top Biden preview of first 100 days Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight McConnell pushed Trump to nominate Barrett on the night of Ginsburg's death: report 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 SandersBiden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members Hillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far New Consensus co-founder discusses proposal for Biden to use Fed to sidestep Congress 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 BarrRep. Andy Barr beats back Democratic challenge in Kentucky Reclaiming the American Dream Powell, Mnuchin stress limits of current emergency lending programs 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.