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Highest-circulation Kentucky newspaper endorses Charles Booker in Senate race

Highest-circulation Kentucky newspaper endorses Charles Booker in Senate race
© Courtesy Booker Campaign

The Louisville Courier Journal on Wednesday endorsed state Rep. Charles Booker in the Democratic Senate primary, the winner of which will face Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight MORE (R-Ky.) in November.

The newspaper said its editorial board had met with the three Democratic front-runners in the 10-person race based on fundraising totals: Booker, former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath and retired U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Mike Broihier.

“Our informed choice is clear: Charles Booker is the kind of political leader and change agent that our commonwealth needs. We believe he is worthy of the Democratic nomination,” the editorial board wrote.

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The newspaper cited Booker’s experience in local, state and federal government, including as a legislative intern for Rep. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksHispanic Caucus endorses Castro for Foreign Affairs gavel Dozens of progressive groups endorse Joaquin Castro for Foreign Affairs chair Castro pledges to term limit himself if elected Foreign Affairs chair MORE (D-N.Y.), his work for the Department of Fish and Wildlife Services under then-Gov. Steve Beshear (D) and his work for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D).

The paper conceded that several policy proposals Booker has endorsed, including a Green New Deal and universal basic income, will be less likely to attract moderate support.

“But at its core, Booker’s policy platform has the same goals as other Democratic candidates: uplifting all Kentuckians so we have a chance at being healthy, modernizing our crumbling infrastructure to attract more companies, creating jobs that pay a living wage so poverty is a rarity, not the norm, and finding energy solutions that leave the planet in good shape for our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids," it said.

The editorial faulted McGrath, meanwhile, for an “unimaginative and uninspiring” campaign overly focused on McConnell instead of any vision of her own.

“We also believe the national Democratic Party was too quick to offer its full support and fundraising apparatus to a candidate who has never held public office and stumbled out of the gate when announcing her candidacy,” the editorial stated.

“McGrath’s self-described ‘common sense Kentucky Democrat’ tagline — a campaign strategy to attract potential supporters of President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE who are looking for an alternative to McConnell — has fallen flat in these final weeks of the campaign,” it added.

The endorsement comes the same week Booker won the endorsement of another Kentucky newspaper, the Herald-Leader, as well as several national progressive political figures including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Prepare for buyers' remorse when Biden/Harris nationalize health care Biden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezKamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far MORE (D-N.Y.).