Booker picks up Warren endorsement in Kentucky Senate race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Democrat Charles Booker picked up another national endorsement as Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Thursday backed his bid for the Democratic nomination in Kentucky's primary election next week to run against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this fall.

Booker “is a lifelong Kentuckian who has seen how Mitch McConnell and Washington, D.C. have failed working families,” Warren said in a tweet. “I’m proud to endorse him and join his fight to root out corruption, dismantle systemic racism, and make big, structural change.”

Booker, a freshman state lawmaker from Louisville, has won a series of high-profile endorsements and started running TV ads late in the campaign as he goes up against retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath. The party’s national establishment supports McGrath, whose fundraising has allowed her to run TV ads since last year.

Booker was endorsed earlier by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and by Kentucky’s two largest newspapers, the Louisville Courier Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader. Former state Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who lost to McConnell in 2014, endorsed Booker this week.

The state’s primary is June 23, but many Kentuckians have already voted by mail, which is being allowed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Booker shares the progressive mantle with another Democrat in the Senate race, Mike Broihier.

In a new ad, Booker — who is black — plays up his presence on the front lines of protests over the deaths of black Americans by police. The new ad shows Booker marching with protesters and speaking at demonstrations demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, who was killed in her Louisville home in March. The 26-year-old black EMT was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door while attempting to enforce a search warrant. No drugs were found.