U.S. Senate candidates Cheri Beasley and Charles Booker won their Democratic primary elections in North Carolina and Kentucky, respectively, on Tuesday. Their wins make them the first African Americans to be nominated by the Democratic Party for a U.S. Senate seat in their states, TheGrio reports.
Beasley, who was the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, rose to the top of the Democratic primary contest to become the party’s nominee for the Senate. If she is victorious in the November general election, she would become the state’s first Black state senator.
“I hope that people – not just in North Carolina, but across this country – really appreciate the magnitude of this election,” Beasley told TheGrio in a recent interview.
According to the Courier Journal, in Kentucky, U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker defeated three Democratic challengers with more than 70 percent of the vote.
Booker won the Democratic nomination after falling short in his previous Senate bid. His 2020 campaign grew in popularity as his message of racial and economic justice coincided with nationwide protests over the deaths of Black Americans in encounters with police. He will face off against Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in November.
“If anybody tells you that ceilings can’t break, tell them: ‘Look at Kentucky,” Booker said during an election night party, according to USA Today. “This is about our future,” he said. “This is about ending generational poverty. This is about grabbing racism by the roots and pulling it out. This is about healing. It’s about humanity, y’all.”
Beasley and Booker’s nominations mark not only a historic political milestone, but it also charts a path for the Democrats, who hope to win in the general election and expand the party’s slim Senate majority.