INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Days after new U.S. Senators were sworn in, one challenger for a Missouri seat last year is already looking ahead to the next election.
Democrat Lucas Kunce announced Friday via social media that he will run for U.S. Senate in 2024, launching a bid to challenge Republican Josh Hawley for his seat.
“I’m really tired of politicians — career politicians like Josh Hawley — betraying us over and over again,” Kunce said Friday.
Kunce fell short of the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate after losing to Trudy Busch Valentine in last year’s August primary elections. Busch Valentine later lost her bid against previous Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt.
Kunce’s campaign announcement comes on the second anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, and Hawley’s actions leading up to the insurrection have been criticized.
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.
“For me, it’s that Josh Hawley is a fraud and a coward, and this day is a perfect example of why he’s a fraud and a coward. When he thought it would get him in power, he’s raising his fist, ‘Ooh rah,'” Kunce said. “Then, the second things got real, he’s running for the exit and skittering out the backdoor.”
Hawley’s campaign snapped back at Kunce’s comments on Friday.
“We welcome this desperate woke activist to yet another political race,” a campaign spokesperson said. “He just barely finished losing his last one. Maybe he’s running in the wrong state.”
Kunce is a 40-year-old attorney from Independence, Missouri, with 13 years of military experience in the Marines.
Last year, some of his motives for running for U.S. Senate were to ban stock ownership for members of Congress, break up corporate monopolies and end foreign ownership of agricultural land. He also ran behind the stance that the government should spend money to rebuild the heartland.
Kunce also showed significant fundraising skills last year, outraising every candidate for the Missouri U.S. Senate, including all Republican candidates.