For Charles Booker, starting his new job on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was an auspicious way to begin. Just last week, Gov. Andy Beshear appointed the former U.S. Senate candidate and state lawmaker to head Kentucky’s Office of Faith-based Initiatives and Community Involvement.On Monday, he spoke at the annual MLK Day service at King Solomon Baptist Church for his first public appearance since getting the new role. “Being able to join with him and do the work of making sure no one is ignored, and everyone has a chance to thrive, it’s an honor,” Booker told WLKY News. “Especially to start today, on MLK Day. To start on the day where we remember the man who had the dream, it’s inspiring beyond words, I can tell you.”After finishing speaking to a WLKY News reporter outside the church, Booker was stopped several times by people on his way inside. They congratulated him, made pitches for their own nonprofits and took selfies.He’s a recognizable figure these days. Booker served from 2019-2021 in Kentucky’s House of Representatives. In 2020, he ran in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate against Amy McGrath. Despite McGrath’s record fundraising, he surged in the late days of the campaign during the civil unrest that followed Breonna Taylor’s death. While he lost to McGrath that year, he became the Democratic nominee in 2022 to challenge U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.”So to be here now in this role, it just lets you know that no matter where you go, God’s going to keep opening doors for you if you keep doing the work,” Booker said.Booker’s new role will be to help faith-based and community nonprofit organizations grow and access more government funding so that they can serve more people.His background in community organizing and the time he spent campaigning across the state will help him succeed, he said. “There’s a network and universe all across Kentucky who want things to change, who believe in the vision that the governor’s been pushing, that need to be connected,” Booker said. “My foundation in faith, my foundation in community organizing, this will be a chance to really bring that into the governor’s office.”

For Charles Booker, starting his new job on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was an auspicious way to begin.

Just last week, Gov. Andy Beshear appointed the former U.S. Senate candidate and state lawmaker to head Kentucky’s Office of Faith-based Initiatives and Community Involvement.

On Monday, he spoke at the annual MLK Day service at King Solomon Baptist Church for his first public appearance since getting the new role.

“Being able to join with him [Gov. Beshear] and do the work of making sure no one is ignored, and everyone has a chance to thrive, it’s an honor,” Booker told WLKY News. “Especially to start today, on MLK Day. To start on the day where we remember the man who had the dream, it’s inspiring beyond words, I can tell you.”

After finishing speaking to a WLKY News reporter outside the church, Booker was stopped several times by people on his way inside. They congratulated him, made pitches for their own nonprofits and took selfies.

He’s a recognizable figure these days.

Booker served from 2019-2021 in Kentucky’s House of Representatives. In 2020, he ran in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate against Amy McGrath. Despite McGrath’s record fundraising, he surged in the late days of the campaign during the civil unrest that followed Breonna Taylor’s death. While he lost to McGrath that year, he became the Democratic nominee in 2022 to challenge U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

“So to be here now in this role, it just lets you know that no matter where you go, God’s going to keep opening doors for you if you keep doing the work,” Booker said.

Booker’s new role will be to help faith-based and community nonprofit organizations grow and access more government funding so that they can serve more people.

His background in community organizing and the time he spent campaigning across the state will help him succeed, he said.

“There’s a network and universe all across Kentucky who want things to change, who believe in the vision that the governor’s been pushing, that need to be connected,” Booker said. “My foundation in faith, my foundation in community organizing, this will be a chance to really bring that into the governor’s office.”



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