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FIRST IN AXIOS: Kunce’s Record-Breaking Quarter

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AXIOS: “The big picture: Abortion rights will be one of the top issues in races around the country in November, and a ballot initiative to protect access in Missouri could boost turnout for Democrats.”

Independence, MO — In the first quarter of 2024, Lucas Kunce raised over $2.25 million, a record for a Senate challenger in Missouri at this point in the race. It’s his strongest quarter yet, and it brings his grand total this cycle to a whopping $7.6 million raised for his campaign to defeat Josh Hawley, the most unpopular Republican incumbent running for reelection in 2024. It’s the most a Senate challenger has ever raised in Missouri history.

In the first three months of 2024, Kunce’s campaign has received more than 66,000 donations, with a $33 average contribution and more than 98% of donations under $200 — all without a cent from corporate PACs.

Kunce is supported by grassroots donors from every single county in the state, and he’ll enter Q2 with $3.3 million cash on hand, the biggest war chest a Missouri challenger has ever amassed in a race against a Senate incumbent. Kunce even outpaces Hawley’s 2018 race and Jason Kander’s 2016 race for cash on hand.

“Since last year, we’ve built a worker-led, people-powered, record-breaking coalition to win this race and take this U.S. Senate back for everyday people in Missouri,” said Kunce. “I’ve been all around this state and one thing is super clear — Missourians are sick and tired of phonies like Josh Hawley who’ve sold them out and keeps telling them how to live their lives. I couldn’t be prouder of the historic movement we’re building here in Missouri. And I’ll never forget who we’re fighting for — real Missourians.”

This fundraising news comes on the heels of Josh Hawley moving to the right of Donald Trump on abortion rights.

And on the heels of Lucas going on the air with the first Senate IVF ad of the cycle. Read about it here and watch it here — a powerful message in Missouri when your opponent literally pioneered the argument behind nationwide efforts to shut down IVF access.

And, as the fight to get abortion on the ballot continues to heat up and make impressive progress, Lucas earned the endorsement of Abortion Action Missouri, a leader in that fight. 

Plus, Lucas is drawing big crowds at town halls across the state. Just this week, over 150 people showed up in St. Charles, where Lucas received standing ovations.

“The grassroots energy, the momentum, the fundraising — Lucas is doing exactly what he needs to put this race on the map and to defeat Josh Hawley,” said Caleb Cavarretta, campaign manager. “With Josh Hawley now to the right of Trump on abortion, his creepy obsession with controlling people is becoming harder and harder to hide. This is the first election and our only chance to make him pay for the freedoms he stole from Missourians.”  

Here’s how former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander—who’s won statewide and nearly defeated GOP incumbent Roy Blunt while overperforming the Democratic national ticket by double-digits—summed up the race:

“Lucas Kunce can defeat Josh Hawley. With Joe Manchin’s retirement taking West Virginia’s Senate race off the board, Missouri is the perfect candidate to replace it. And for anyone who cares about democracy, reproductive freedom, health care access and working families, this race should be a priority… Just like voters in states where we’ve seen big wins for Democrats and pro-freedom initiatives in the past year, hundreds of thousands of voters in Missouri are still splitting their tickets… Just as we saw in elections across the country — both this year and in the last decade — pundits and presidential politics won’t be deciding the result of every race in 2024. Voters will be.”