We're Heading for Mark McCloskey Versus Eric Greitens in the Senate Race

Mark McCloskey, pictured with wife Patrica, is apparently running for Senate. - THEO WELLING
Mark McCloskey, pictured with wife Patrica, is apparently running for Senate.

Update following announcement: Yep, it's happening.

Mark McCloskey, who landed a national political soapbox by pointing guns at protesters, is apparently running for Senate.

The attorney tweeted that he would be making a "huge announcement" on Fox News host Tucker Carlson's show tonight. He's also launched a campaign website. Records show he registered the site in April, but it was updated today. It now features the mansion-dwelling lawyer wearing a snap-button shirt, open three buttons, and posing in front of a John Deere. He is described there as the captain of his high school wrestling team and student body president.

Until June 28, McCloskey and his wife Patricia were largely unknown outside of St. Louis. But when protesters walked past the home previously described as a "Midwestern palazzo" in a St. Louis Magazine interview, they were greeted by a fuming McCloskey in pastel yacht-wear cradling an AR-15 and shouting at them to "get the hell out of my neighborhood."

A shoeless Patti McCloskey soon appeared on the lawn, panning a crowd that included children with a handgun. A later examination of her gun revealed it wasn't in working order at the time, but the same can't be said of Mark McCloskey's rifle.

He likened the confrontation to the "storming of the Bastille," and the couple has insisted they were forced to act in order to keep from being murdered and burned in their home with their dog.

Video from the day contradicted their claims, showing protesters, who were on their way to to then-Mayor Lyda Krewson's home, didn't even see Mark McCloskey until he confronted them with the AR-15. Notably, none of the couple's neighbors, who didn't defend their properties with guns, were murdered and incinerated in their homes.

The McCloskeys easily fit in then-President Trump's efforts to paint nationwide protests against police abuse following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis as the work of violent thugs, and they embraced the role as Republican victims, capitalizing on their newfound celebrity to speak around the country.

It wasn't long before Mark McCloskey began suggesting he might run for office. His entry into the Senate race sets up a showdown with disgraced ex-Governor Eric Greitens, whose overlapping message of right-wing grievance, appetite for gratuitous gunplay and styling as a tough-talking outsider has propelled him along the same circuits of far-right media.

The two will now be forced to look for ways to distinguish themselves as they court the hard right. An obvious early difference? St. Louis attorney Al Watkins. The headline-chasing lawyer, whose comments to a Talking Points Memo reporter went viral today for sheer offensiveness, is friend and counsel to the McCloskeys whom he repped in the early going of the June 28 incident. Watkins is simultaneously an enemy of Greitens for his role in the scandal that helped usher the former governor out of office.

Then again, McCloskey's position on Watkins may not play a role. Given the two candidates' histories of public spectacles and spectacularly fragile masculinities, the campaign might as well come down to a gun-measuring contest — a form of democracy both men might actually approve of. 
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