Father. Veteran. Democrat.

My name is Lucas Kunce, and I am Missouri made. I was born and raised in Jefferson City. My family has been here for generations. I love this state and the people here even more. This is why.

When my sister was born sick and had to have multiple expensive surgeries, the community took care of us. They watched my other siblings and I when my parents were at the hospital in St. Louis for months on end. Neighbors brought more food by the house than we could eat. When the last of my mom's money was stolen at Walmart, friends, parishioners, and people we didn't even know came together to make us whole.​

After attending Jeff City High School, I received the opportunity of a lifetime to go to Yale. And when I wasn’t sure if I could afford it, people I didn’t even know gave me scholarships to make sure I could.

People ask me why I’m thinking about stepping off of a cliff and running for Senate. It’s a pretty intense feeling to know that people will take care of you like I was taken care of, but that's how Missourians are.
And I think the people of this state should have someone in the Senate who shares that bond with them. I have the life that I do because people were selfless enough to give it to me, from my parents all the way to strangers on the street, and I’ve spent my life trying to pay it back.

I came back here for law school at Mizzou. After I graduated, I heard we were surging in Iraq. I realized that if it wasn’t me going overseas, it was going to be someone else. In fact, it already had been. People I knew from my hometown had already gone. I answered the call, and two years later I was leading a team of Marines all over Western Iraq. After that I deployed twice to Afghanistan.

During my last tour, at the Pentagon, I started to see how much damage corporate monopoly power was doing to national security—how we couldn’t make anything here anymore, and how monopolies were getting so rich off the taxpayer. I left the Marine Corps to fight monopoly power, to call out crony capitalism and corruption.

Meanwhile, incumbent Senator Roy Blunt has been helping manage Missouri’s economic decline for the last 25 years. We had the weakest economic recovery from the Great Recession of any state in the Midwest.
In 2019, when Blunt told us the economy was roaring, Missouri household income was actually less than it had been in 2007. He oversaw the sale of Missouri land and industries out of state: Anheuser Busch sold to Belgium and Brazil, who immediately cut jobs; Monsanto sold to Germany; dozens of company headquarters and countless jobs shipped away; fourteen hospitals closed in just five years; and as of 2020, a quarter of Missouri’s pork industry is now owned by China through Smithfield's monopoly.

I’ve seen firsthand what these failures of leadership mean. In the thirteen years I was a US Marine fighting for my country, my first house in Jeff City was dozed into an empty lot, my home up until I joined the Marines was vacated by the next owner and is falling apart, and our corner store was shut down and boarded up.
Thank God Missourians are resilient. Time and again we have taken matters into our own hands and fought back with ballot measure after ballot measure: overturning the anti-worker “right to work” law, expanding Medicaid, increasing the minimum wage, and legalizing medical marijuana.

The Marine Corps taught me to lead. To organize. To fight. I’m ready to fight to put money right here in Missouri, instead of printing it for Wall Street and corporate monopolies that outsource our industries. We’ve been making things in Missouri for generations, and we know how to do it.

We can fight to build and finance renewable energy industries right here in the heartland. We can break up corporate monopoly power at all levels so that small businesses can compete in the marketplace place again. We can fight for the type of freedom that comes with universal healthcare—the freedom to switch jobs, the freedom to start a small business, the freedom to run a business without the burden of also having to also be a healthcare provider.

I signed up for the Marine Corps to run towards a challenge. And as I think about running towards my next one, I would be honored to know who’s behind me. Can you help us?
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Paid for by Lucas Kunce for Missouri Exploratory Committee
Use of military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform do not imply endorsement by the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.
Lucas Kunce © 2021