Hawley rival calls him ‘fraud and a coward’ in campaign announcement

Lucas Kunce
Democratic Senate hopeful Lucas Kunce. (AP Reed/Hoffmann, File)

Hawley rival calls him ‘fraud and a coward’ in campaign announcement

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Marine veteran Lucas Kunce is running against Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) in the 2024 election, stating that Hawley is a “coward and a fraud.”

Kunce, who lost in the Democratic primary last year for the Senate to Trudy Busch Valentine, announced his candidacy via Twitter on Friday, the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021.

In a video campaign ad, he shows footage of Hawley “running for his life” as insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, as well as a clip released from the Jan. 6 House select committee that showed the senator fleeing from rioters.



“When he thought it was going to bring him power, he’s there raising his fist,” Kunce said in an interview with Politico. “Then when it got real, he skittered out of there as quick as he could and ran for the exit. And if I ran like that in Iraq or Afghanistan — or anybody else there did — the Marine Corps would have court-martialed us.”

In the video, Kunce said he and Hawley “couldn’t be more different,” comparing their upbringings and their employment histories, particularly Kunce’s 13 years in the Marines.

“And when he voted against relief for vets like me who were exposed to toxic burn pits, I stood up alongside thousands of veterans to hold him accountable,” Kunce said. Both Hawley and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) voted against the PACT Act in July 2022.

Kunce told Politico that his inability to win in 2022 came from structural issues.

“What I learned is that in our broken political system, where money is the only thing that matters most of the time, if you don’t have it, you’re going to have to work extra, extra hard,” he said. “And you’re probably not going to win the first time. It’s gonna be a very long road.”


The National Republican Senatorial Committee swiftly responded to Kunce’s election bid announcement.

“Unhinged liberal Lucas Kunce will grift millions from coastal elites, then lose,” NRSC spokesman Mike Berg said. “Just like when he ran last election.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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