On Capitol Attack Anniversary, Marine Vet Announces Challenge to Hawley

stars for dark background
January 6, 2023
ApNewsroom_Election_2024_Missouri-Senate__70943.jpg
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

ST. LOUIS — Two years to the day since U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s now-famous raised-fist salute to rioters at the U.S. Capitol, a Marine veteran who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2022 announced Friday that he’ll try to unseat Hawley in 2024.

Lucas Kunce, 40, served 13 years in the Marines. A video released by his campaign shows the photo of Hawley with his fist raised on Jan. 6, 2021 — a photo that drew strong criticism from some, but also appears on coffee mugs that the senator sells. Kunce’s video shows security camera footage of Hawley running through the Capitol hallway in the chaotic aftermath of the attack.

“I swear, this coward’s always running from something,” Kunce says in the video. “When things get tough, Missourians deserve a U.S. senator who will stand up for them, not run away.”

Phone and email messages left with Hawley’s campaign were not immediately returned. A spokeswoman in Hawley’s Senate office declined comment.

Kunce was among several candidates running for Senate in 2022 after two-term incumbent Roy Blunt announced his plans to retire, and seemed headed for the Democratic nomination before the late entry of Anheuser-Busch brewing heir Trudy Busch Valentine. She narrowly defeated Kunce in the August primary, then was soundly defeated by Republican Eric Schmitt in November.

Kunce faces long odds in 2024. Missouri, a swing state a generation ago, has moved decidedly to the right over the past decade. Every statewide elected official in Missouri is now a Republican.

Kunce did show significant fundraising skills last year, outraising every candidate, even Republicans. He fashioned himself as a populist and his campaign announcement for 2024 cited his military history and his family’s financial hardships when he grew up in Jefferson City.

Hawley, 43, is in his first term as senator. He was elected Missouri attorney general in 2016 before successfully running for Senate in 2018.

The week before the attack on the U.S. Capitol two years ago, Hawley became the first Republican senator to announce he would object to the certification of the 2020 presidential election. After the release of the photo showing him with his fist raised, a one-time mentor, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth of Missouri, called supporting Hawley “the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life.”

Show Full Article

© Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags:

Latest News Articles

WORKING WARRIORS QR CODE

We’re here anytime, day or night - 24/7

If you are a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with our caring, qualified responders for confidential help. Many of them are Veterans themselves. Click on any item below to call or chat now.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?