U.S. Senate candidates Cheri Beasley (D-NC) and Charles Booker (D-KY) became the first African Americans to be nominated by the Democratic Party for a U.S. Senate seat in their respective states.
The two historic candidates move on to the general election this fall. Beasley dominated a crowded Democratic primary in the Tar Heel state, receiving 81 percent of the vote. None of Beasley’s ten opponents in the primary received more than 3.5 percent.
In her acceptance speech, Beasley discussed the unity of Democratic voters in North Carolina.
“While Washington is divided, people here are not,” Beasley said to a round of applause. “While Washington focuses on special interests and corporate cronies, the people of North Carolina are focusing on working for our families and strengthening our communities and while Washington focuses on pointing fingers and passing blame, the people of North Carolina focus on working and getting things done.”
If Beasley wins the general election this fall, the former State Supreme Court chief justice will become the state’s first Black senator.
Booker, meanwhile, received 73 percent of the vote to clinch the state’s Democratic primary, defeating three others. He will now go against Rand Paul in the general election. Booker ran for the seat in 2020 but lost in the primary.
After being declared the winner Tuesday night, Booker tweeted, “It’s official. I am the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Kentucky. In November, we will make history by defeating Rand Paul and expanding our Senate majority.”
During Kentucky’s protests following the death of Breonna Taylor, Booker joined protestors in their calls for justice and co-sponsored Breonna’s Law, which banned no-knock warrants statewide and requires law enforcement to wear body cameras.
Both politicians are paramount to Democrats expanding their slim majority in the Senate. Beasley winning the general election is also important because it would fill a void after Vice President Kamala Harris left the Senate without a Black woman.