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 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.) 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 MeeksDemocrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Chamber of Commerce, banking industry groups call on Senate to pass corporate diversity bill Sherman joins race for House Foreign Affairs gavel 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 TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 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 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.).