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Progressive group backs Booker in Kentucky Senate primary

Progressive group backs Booker in Kentucky Senate primary
© Courtesy Booker Campaign

A top progressive group is backing state Rep. Charles Booker (D) in Kentucky’s Democratic Senate primary as the race to challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump shows he holds stranglehold on GOP, media in CPAC barnburner Trump rules out starting a new party: 'Fake news' Sunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate MORE (R-Ky.) heats up.

Democracy for America (DFA) announced Wednesday it is backing Booker’s bid to win the Democratic nomination over Amy McGrath because he is a “real Democrat” who will advocate for progressive causes on Capitol Hill.

“Democracy for America is endorsing Charles Booker because he’s a real Democrat who can beat Mitch McConnell and isn’t afraid of taking a firm stand against Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE, knows he would have voted against placing a man facing serious allegations of sexual assault on the U.S. Supreme Court, and is ready to fight for progressive ideas like Medicare for All,” DFA CEO Yvette Simpson said in an exclusive statement to The Hill.

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The endorsement comes before Booker and McGrath are set to face off in Kentucky’s primary race on Tuesday.

McGrath has long been viewed as the favorite to win the Democratic nomination, raising millions of dollars and gaining broad support from mainstream Democrats. However, Booker has received a surge of attention and donations in recent weeks as progressives rally around his primary bid.

The momentum around Booker’s bid has largely been fueled by frustration in Kentucky and across the country over systemic racism and police brutality, with Booker appearing with Kentuckians at protests over the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., by police.

“Especially in the wake of Breonna Taylor’s murder in Louisville, Charles Booker has proven himself to be a fearless visionary and boundlessly compassionate leader with the kind of life experience we desperately need in the U.S. Senate,” said Simpson.

“When Senate insiders decide which candidate they’re going to bless with their endorsement and the millions in contributions that come with it, the critical experience that a young Black man who has lost family members to gun violence, like Charles Booker, might bring with him to the Senate never enters the equation.  And, that narrow vision leaves Congress and our country weaker," she added.

Booker has also won the endorsements of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Senate mulls changes to .9 trillion coronavirus bill NFL's Justin Jackson praises Sanders for opposing Biden's USDA nominee MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez: Detailed sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo 'painful to read' The GOP's uncertain future Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (D-N.Y.).  

Still, either Booker or McGrath would likely face an uphill climb to unseat McConnell. The Cook Political Report rates the Senate race as “likely Republican."