ST. LOUIS — Two years to the day since U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s now-famous raised-fist salute to rioters on the U.S. Capitol, a Marine veteran who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2022 introduced Friday that he’ll attempt to unseat Hawley in 2024.
Lucas Kunce, 40, served 13 years within the Marines. A video launched by his marketing campaign exhibits the picture of Hawley along with his fist raised on Jan. 6, 2021 — a photograph that drew sturdy criticism from some, but additionally seems on espresso mugs that the senator sells. Kunce’s video exhibits safety digital camera footage of Hawley working via the Capitol hallway within the chaotic aftermath of the assault.
“I swear, this coward’s at all times working from one thing,” Kunce says within the video. “When issues get robust, Missourians deserve a U.S. senator who will arise for them, not run away.”
Telephone and electronic mail messages left with Hawley’s marketing campaign weren’t instantly returned. A spokeswoman in Hawley’s Senate workplace declined remark.
Kunce was amongst a number of candidates working for Senate in 2022 after two-term incumbent Roy Blunt introduced his plans to retire, and appeared headed for the Democratic nomination earlier than the late entry of Anheuser-Busch brewing inheritor Trudy Busch Valentine. She narrowly defeated Kunce within the August main, then was soundly defeated by Republican Eric Schmitt in November.
Kunce faces lengthy odds in 2024. Missouri, a swing state a era in the past, has moved decidedly to the proper over the previous decade. Each statewide elected official in Missouri is now a Republican.
Kunce did present important fundraising expertise final yr, outraising each candidate, even Republicans. He customary himself as a populist and his marketing campaign announcement for 2024 cited his navy historical past and his household’s monetary hardships when he grew up in Jefferson Metropolis.
Hawley, 43, is in his first time period as senator. He was elected Missouri legal professional common in 2016 earlier than efficiently working for Senate in 2018.
The week earlier than the assault on the U.S. Capitol two years in the past, Hawley turned the primary Republican senator to announce he would object to the certification of the 2020 presidential election. After the discharge of the picture displaying him along with his fist raised, a one-time mentor, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth of Missouri, known as supporting Hawley “the worst determination I’ve ever made in my life.”
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