Charles Booker Dons Noose in First Ad of U.S. Senate Campaign

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Charles Booker the first Black Senatorial candidate in Kentucky history has launched his first ad of the campaign donning a noose to draw a contrast with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

“In Kentucky, like many states throughout the south, lynching was a tool of terror,” says Booker in the ad. “Now, in a historic victory for our commonwealth, I have become the first Black Kentuckian to receive the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate,” he continues. “My opponent? The very person who compared expanded health care to slavery.”

The ad titled ‘Pain of our Past,’ runs more than one minute long, indicating it will not make its way to television in its current form.

“My family history, which includes lives taken by lynching, made this advertisement one of the hardest things I have done, in the pursuit of office or otherwise,” Booker said. “I know this video will be jarring for some. My belief is that we must confront the trauma of our history, and my belief is that our common love and sincerity will help us push through the initial shock and come together to recognize our shared humanity, fight for justice, and strengthen our democracy.”

Rand Paul’s campaign pushed back against the ad, saying Paul worked to strengthen the legislation discussed in Booker’s video.

“Dr. Paul worked diligently to strengthen the language of this legislation and is a cosponsor of the bill that now ensures that federal law will define lynching as the absolutely heinous crime that it is,” said Paul campaign spokesman Jake Cox. “Any attempt to state otherwise is a desperate misrepresentation of the facts.”