Kentucky Senate candidate Charles Booker says racist experiences help fuel his run
In March 2019, Charles Booker was delivering an emotional speech in front of his colleagues in the Kentucky House of Representatives about threats of gun
In March 2019, Charles Booker was delivering an emotional speech in front of his colleagues in the Kentucky House of Representatives about threats of gun violence facing young Black men when a colleague angrily yelled at him to sit down.
"I was pleading out about our need to invest in keeping everyone safe, including people in communities like mine," said Booker, now the Democratic candidate seeking to unseat two-term Republican Sen. Rand Paul in November.
Booker, 37, said he later asked the colleague — who he said was GOP state Rep. Randy Bridges — why he had reacted like that. "His response was, 'You people need to know when to stop talking,'" Booker said. Bridges did not return a request for comment.
This incident, Booker said, was one of many racist experiences he has had as a Black legislator "in the extreme minority in the Statehouse."
"I saw a lot of hatred. I saw a lot of pain. I saw a lot of racism," he said in an interview with NBC News. "But I also saw a lot of opportunities to build new relationships and to bring people together and to lift up common bonds, which is why I'm so inspired to run this race now."