On January 6, 2021, Josh Hawley showed us he’s a fraud and a coward.— Lucas Kunce (@LucasKunceMO) January 6, 2023
Missourians deserve a U.S. Senator who’s willing to stand and fight. That’s why I’ve decided to take him on. pic.twitter.com/VbN1SuqPFU
Former Marine Lucas Kunce announced today his bid for U.S. Senate, seeking to oust incumbent Josh Hawley in 2024.
This will be Kunce's second try for the job after coming in second in Missouri's Democratic primary in 2022. Kunce lost to eventual nominee Trudy Busch Valentine, winning 38 percent of the vote compared to her 43 percent.
It's no coincidence that Kunce chose to launch his campaign on January 6. The video he released announcing his run doubles as an attack ad on Hawley, who is perhaps best-known nationally for raising his fist in support of protesters outside the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and then running from them once they had stormed inside the building.
Kunce calls Hawley "a fraud and a coward" who is "always running from something."
Kunce goes on in the announcement video to differentiate his working-class upbringing from Hawley, whom Kunce describes as having been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. The tack is not unlike the one Kunce previously took against Valentine, an heiress to the Anheuser-Busch fortune.
Kunce campaigned prolifically in the 2022 race, showing up in person all over the state to spread his left-wing brand of populism. Key tenets of his campaign were protecting abortion rights, voting rights and labor unions, as well as taking on Wall Street.
"I want to introduce legislation that says members of Congress cannot own stock, period. That's it," Kunce previously told the RFT. "Them and their direct family members. And if they violate that law, they go to jail."
Thus far, Hawley and Kunce are the only two announced candidates for 2024, though that is likely to change in the coming months. In November, the Post-Dispatch editorial board floated the idea of Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas making a run for the job.
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