Charles Booker -- a Black candidate running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky -- put a rope around his neck in a startling campaign ad ... which takes aim at Rand Paul.
Booker's new video focuses heavily on lynching in the South, historically ... even using an actual noose hanging from a tree that he fastens around his neck as he narrates.
CB mentions how Kentucky used to rely on lynching as a tool of terror against African-Americans -- which is why he finds it so meaningful that he's the first Black Kentuckian to win the Democratic nomination to take on Sen. Paul in a race coming up in November.
He lists some of what he considers dubious positions Paul has taken ... like comparing expanded health care to slavery, opposing the federal anti-lynching act -- which has since become law -- and allegedly saying he would've "opposed the Civil Rights Act" of 1964.
That last claim isn't entirely accurate -- Paul has, indeed, made controversial remarks on the CRA ... but it's perhaps a bit more nuanced than how Booker's characterizing it here.
At any rate, Booker likens beating Paul in the general election to getting the noose off his neck ... suggesting the two go hand in hand. Sen. Paul hasn't responded just yet.