Charles Booker vs. Amy McGrath

Charles Booker vs. Amy McGrath

Amy McGrath address supporters after her loss during her Election Night Event at the EKU Center for the Arts on November 6, 2018 in Richmond, Kentuc

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Amy McGrath address supporters after her loss during her Election Night Event at the EKU Center for the Arts on November 6, 2018 in Richmond, Kentucky.

Jason Davis | Getty Images

Democrat Amy McGrath defeated Charles Booker in a close Senate primary race in Kentucky shaped in its final stretch by a reckoning over systemic racism, NBC News projected. 

McGrath led Booker by about 2 percentage points as the state counted the final mail-in ballots a week after the election. She will try to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a November election closely watched by Democrats who hold a special ire for the top GOP senator.

McGrath, a 45-year-old White Marine veteran, once seemed to have a tight grip on the election on the strength of more than $40 million in fundraising. But Booker, a 35-year-old Black state representative, gained traction as he joined recent protests against police violence and racism — including the March police shooting of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, in his hometown of Louisville. 

Rep. Charles Booker

Bryan Woolston | AP

As the coronavirus pandemic led certain states…



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