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Charles Booker launches exploratory committee to consider challenge to Rand Paul

Charles Booker launches exploratory committee to consider challenge to Rand Paul
© Courtesy Booker Campaign

Former Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker (D) launched an exploratory committee Monday to examine the possibility of challenging Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask Overnight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna MORE (R-Ky.) for the state's U.S. Senate seat as Paul faces reelection next year.

In a video announcement Monday morning, Booker put Paul on notice with a declaration: "We will transform Kentucky. And Rand Paul? You know it too."

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In a statement to local news station WBKO, Booker added, "Even in a historic, unprecedented public health and economic crisis, most of our politicians couldn’t be bothered to do anything, voting against survival checks for working families and trying to take away our health care in order to give our money away to wealthy campaign donors. Kentuckians deserve a senator who will fight as hard for us as we fight for each other, and that’s why I’m formally announcing an exploratory committee for U.S. Senate."

Booker rose to national prominence after a long-shot bid to win the state's Democratic U.S. Senate primary in 2018 ended in a narrow defeat to Amy McGrath (D), who went on to be handily defeated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' McConnell alma mater criticizes him for 1619 comments McConnell amid Trump criticism: 'I'm looking forward, not backward' MORE (R-Ky.) that November. Booker's message so far has centered on the theme of racial and economic justice, with references to the ongoing hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic and tensions resulting from the deaths of Black Americans in encounters with police.

In a statement to WBKO, a spokesperson for Paul contended that Kentuckians would reject Booker's campaign platform.

"Kentuckians know there is no greater champion for the values they hold dear than Dr. Rand Paul, and like President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE stated in his recent endorsement, Dr. Paul has a proven record of fighting the liberal Washington agenda. Kentuckians don’t want to defund the police, to ban the lawful ownership of guns, or Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July Rural Democrats urge protections from tax increases for family farms Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women MORE’s Green New Deal," said the spokesperson.