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Activist Gary Chambers trying to become Louisian’s first Black senator

Gary Chambers

Gary Chambers Jr. said he is tired of his home state of Louisiana being ranked poorly — when it comes to health, education, infrastructure and the economy, reports NBC News. The Baton Rouge native knows his home state can and should perform better.

“When I look at this state and its people, we are so much greater than our state’s ranking,” Chambers said. “And it’s in part because of the leaders that we’ve had who make decisions that are against the people of this state.”

Chambers’ bombastic style as an activist and now a Democratic challenger for the state’s U.S. Senate seat, has him going viral in a bid to change Louisiana’s standing.

Chambers, 36, had been known for viral posts on social media, calling out local politicians and fighting for communities of color. Now he is gaining attention for smoking marijuana and burning the Confederate flag in his campaign ads.

“We need to burn the remnants of the Confederacy from every piece of legislation that exists in this country in order for this country to be whole again,” Chambers told NBC News in March. “And we need to build that conversation by talking about the racial inequities that exist.”

If elected, Chambers said he hopes to change this through supporting policies like “Medicare for All,” raising the national minimum wage to $15 per hour and the Green New Deal, a federal bill that aims to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs in clean energy and curb climate change.

At the conclusion of the most recent quarter ending in March, Chambers’ campaign had raised $1.2 million, about $724,000 more than the next closest Democrat in the field, Luke Mixon. Republican incumbent Sen. John Kennedy has raised more than $23 million for this campaign, according to the most recent data available from the Federal Election Commission.

Still, Chambers said he is optimistic.