State AFL-CIO backs Booker, McGarvey

Berry Craig
Berry Craig

The Kentucky State AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed former state representative Charles Booker for the U.S. Senate and state Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey for Congress in the Third District.

The two Louisville Democrats were among several candidates endorsed by the state's largest union group at a meeting in Frankfort on Wednesday.

"Charles Booker has been a great friend to labor," said Bill Londrigan, Kentucky State AFL-CIO president. "We know that Charles will always stand with working people and we are proud to support him."

This year marks Booker's second try for the Senate. In 2020, he left the House after one term to challenge Mitch McConnell, Kentucky's senior senator and a Louisville Republican. Booker lost in the primary to retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, who came up short against McConnell.

Booker faces a trio of fellow Democrats in the May 17 primary. The winner will likely take on Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, who is going for a third term. Paul faces five other Republicans in the primary.

"Paul is tied at the hip to the anti-union National Right to Work Committee," Londrigan said. Paul reintroduced the National Right to Work Act in the Senate last year.

McGarvey aims to succeed John Yarmuth, an eight-term Louisville Democrat, who opted not to seek another term. McGarvey has primary opposition from state Rep. Attica Scott, also a Louisville Democrat.

Morgan has been an unwavering champion of workers’ rights and a staunch supporter of trade unions and the right to collective bargaining," Londrigan said in a news release from the McGarvey campaign. "He has demonstrated his compassion and caring for all Kentuckians during his tenure in the Senate, and we are confident that he will carry on the great work of retiring Congressman John Yarmuth."

Before Yarmuth announced his retirement, Scott filed against him in the primary. McGarvey tossed his hat in the ring minutes after Yarmuth publicly said he was stepping down. Yarmuth ultimately endorsed McGarvey.

Seven Republicans are vying for the right to run against McGarvey or Scott. The Third District includes most of the Louisville Metro area.

The state AFL-CIO Executive Committee, acting as the state COPE Committee, also endorsed candidates for the state legislature, court of appeals and supreme court.

A list of endorsed candidates will be posted on our website and Facebook page. In those races, central labor councils and area councils make recommendations for endorsement to the state COPE Committee.

The Greater Louisville Central Labor Council unanimously recommended Booker and McGarvey.


Cross-posted from the KY AFL-CIO web site.

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Berry Craig

Berry Craig is a professor emeritus of history at West KY Community College, and an author of seven books and co-author of two more. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)