Independence, MO – After earning the support of Missouri’s election-winning labor movement and endorsements from leaders across the state, Marine veteran Lucas Kunce has set another fundraising record in the state of Missouri with a whopping $1.2M haul in the second quarter of 2023, even more than his first-quarter haul of $1.1M (when he outraised Hawley), for a total of $2.3M. That’s the most ever raised by a Missouri challenger in the first six months of a U.S. Senate race, and Kunce now has more cash-on-hand at this point in the race than any previous Missouri Senate challenger in the last two decades.
Along with this fundraising has come crucial political support. Missouri organized labor has coalesced around Lucas. Labor supporting Kunce includes:
The Missouri AFL-CIO, The Missouri Fire Fighters (Missouri State Council of Fire Fighters, MSCFF), MO State Council of Machinists, The St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, The Greater Kansas City Building and Construction Trades Council, UFCW Local 655 (Missouri’s largest private-sector local union), Pipe Fitters 533, IBEW Local 124, Iron Workers Local 10, Insulators Local 63, Roofers Local 2, Insulators Local 1, Roofers Local 20, Sprinkler Fitters Local 268, Bricklayers Local 1, Tilesetters Local 18, and Iron Workers Local 396.
On top of labor support, Kunce has earned endorsements from leaders across Missouri — a partial list includes:
Bill Clay Sr, Former Congressman and St. Louis Civil Rights Icon; Shalonda Webb, Chairwoman of the St. Louis County Council; Frank White Jr, Jackson County Executive and Royals Hall of Famer; Megan Green, President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen; Joe Maxwell, Missouri’s 45th Lieutenant Governor; Susan Montee, Missouri’s 35th State Auditor; Jenna Redel, Boone County Treasurer; Catrina Robinson, Mayor of Hayti Heights; Dave Coonrod, Former Greene County Presiding Commissioner; Rita Heard Days, St. Louis County Councilwoman, former State Senator and Representative for North County; Rasheen Aldridge Jr, St. Louis Alderman, former State Representative and Ferguson Commission Appointee; Katheryn Shields, Kansas City Councilwoman and former Jackson County Executive; Manny Abarca, Jackson County Legislator; Wes Shoemyer, Former State Senator, Northeast Missouri; Barbara Eagleton, wife of the late U.S. Senator Tom Eagleton and influential St. Louis advocate; Chantelle Nickson-Clark, State Representative, HD-67, North St. Louis County; Ingrid Burnett, State Representative, HD-19, Kansas City; Kimberly-Ann Collins, State Representative, HD-77, St. Louis; Adrian Plank, State Representative, HD-47, Boone County; Michael Johnson, State Representative, HD-23, Kansas City; and more.
Since Lucas set a record for his first week raise with a viral campaign launch video, his grassroots fundraising has continued at a record pace throughout the the first two quarters as coverage and enthusiasm continued to grow around his candidacy.
“When I got into this race, I knew we’d need to build a historic coalition to take this Senate seat back for working people, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” said Kunce. “We’ve earned support from all across this state, and we continue to break fundraising records because people believe in our message and know that Missourians deserve a Senator who fights for our state, our families, and our workers.”
This quarter, Lucas Kunce continued to generate national headlines for his groundbreaking campaign:
- While the NRSC continued its relentless attack on Kunce playing Magic the Gathering while stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Time Magazine profiled Lucas, his love for the game, and the Missouri Senate race.
- A viral Jon Hamm digital ad earned headlines in Rolling Stone, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Hill, and was played in its entirety on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
- Lucas teamed up with fellow Marine vet Congressman Jake Auchincloss on an op-ed forcefully pushing back on Hawley’s misinformed notions of manhood. The two Marine vets were interviewed on MSNBC as well as the Fast Politics podcast.
- Lauren C. Bell, the James L. Miller Professor of Political Science and Special Assistant to the Provost at Randolph-Macon College, wrote of Lucas’ candidacy: “And of course, it’s always possible that an incumbent senator or party who should be safe will end up losing, as was the case in 2020 with Senate elections in Georgia and Arizona. Missouri’s Senate race between deeply unpopular Republican incumbent Josh Hawley and likely Democratic party nominee Lucas Kunce will be a race to watch in that regard.”
- After earning the endorsement of the Missouri Fire Fighters, who’ve also endorsed Republican Lt. Gov Mike Kehoe for Governor, Kunce was profiled by Forbes
- Kunce was interviewed by the popular host Brian Tyler Cohen
- This early support from labor (this is the earliest AFL-CIO has endorsed a challenger in Missouri history) is crucial for Kunce’s effort to take this Senate seat back and it speaks to his crossover appeal (the Fire Fighters have also endorsed Republican Lt. Gov Mike Kehoe for Governor).