Charles Booker Raises $1.7 Million For Senate Campaign — But Rand Paul Rakes In More

2022 elections
Charles Booker.

Democratic Senate Candidate Charles Booker praised the momentum on Tuesday that has netted him $1.7 million in campaign contributions over the past three months — but he’s still far behind his conservative rival, Sen. Rand Paul, when it comes to fundraising. 

Paul, the Republican incumbent, raked in $4 million over the same time period — the most the candidate has ever raised in a single quarter during his two previous campaigns for U.S. Senate, according to his campaign. Year-to-date, Paul has raised $9 million, and he has $7 million currently on hand. 

Booker said in a new release that his grassroots support has been “tremendous,” with 98% of his contributions coming from small donors. His donations have come from 30,000 donors, including at least one from each of Kentucky’s 120 counties —making over 55,000 contributions total. 

Paul’s donations have included contributions from 150,000 “small dollar grassroots donors,” according to his campaign.

Booker, a progressive challenger to Paul, is trying to appeal to people across the state, no matter what their political preference, by focusing on the things that unite his urban and rural voters. It’s an optimistic goal in a state that has become further entrenched in red in recent years. In 2020, Democrats lost lots of ground in the state legislature, giving up 13 seats and most of its lawmakers representing areas outside of Kentucky’s major cities.

Booker previously ran for the Democratic Party’s nomination in 2020’s congressional race against Sen. Mitch McConnell, using his same “from the hood to the holler” unity message that he’s running on now. He lost to moderate Amy McGrath.

Paul was first elected in 2011, riding the wave of the Tea Party movement. Over the past several months, Paul has received pushback for his rhetoric on COVID-19, which has included calling for more research on ivermectin, saying face masks “don’t prevent infection” and accusing the National Institutes of Health of funding controversial research in Wuhan, China, before the pandemic began. 

Upon announcing his recent fundraising results, Booker said in a statement, “We will continue building out a campaign that looks like Kentucky because this is a campaign for Kentucky. I love this state, I love Kentuckians, and this campaign is going to make Kentucky voices heard not only across this state but across the nation. Our momentum is real and we’re going to change the face of Kentucky politics for decades to come.”

Jake Cox, Paul’s deputy campaign manager said, “Dr. Paul has been at the forefront of standing up for our liberties, calling out unelected bureaucrats, and fighting wasteful spending. With just over a year left, Dr. Paul remains well positioned to win re-election and continue his good work on behalf of the commonwealth.”

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