About a month ago, our old friend from Iowa, J.D. Scholten, introduced me to a Missouri candidate for U.S. Senate. Lucas Kunce. He may well be the candidate who runs against scandal-ridden Trumpist crackpot Eric Greitens. When J.D. told me about him, I asked him why he was so enthusiastic. Kunce is literally the first candidate he has ever told me about in the half dozen years we’ve known each other. “When I watched Lucas’s launch video,” he said, “I felt I knew him. The problems he addressed about Missouri being sold out by their elected officials are the same problems happening here in Iowa. His antitrust message is spot on and will connect with folks in both rural and urban areas and with voters across the political spectrum. In fact, I don’t understand how you can run for federal office in the midwest as a Democrat without standing up to the concentration of corporate power. I am excited for Lucas Kunce’s campaign, he has the potential to be the type of candidate that can win Missouri.”
You can watch the video that so moved J.D. at the bottom of the page. Today, Blue America is endorsing Lucas Kunce for the open Missouri Senate seat. Please read his guest post below and please consider contributing to his campaign by chipping it what you can at the Blue America 2022 Senate page. You can access it here or by clicking on the thermometer on the left. Lucas is the kind of candidate who can win in states where the Democratic Party has become less competitive by running Republican-lite candidates instead of candidates who are standing up for working families, the kind of candidates who made Missouri the bellwether state it once was.
During the vetting process, I asked author and anti-trust warrior Matt Stoller, one of the oldest friends of this blog, what he knew of Kunce. As always, he was clear and to the point: “He’s super sharp, courageous, has a big heart, and wants to help working people by fighting corporate monopolies. What more is there to say?”
We Need To Fundamentally Change Who Has Power In This Country
-by Lucas Kunce
My name is Lucas Kunce. I spent 13 years as a Marine officer, did a couple of tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and represented our country in arms control negotiations with Russia. I work at a nonprofit fighting for the middle class– taking on large corporations with monopoly power. And now, I’m running for U.S. Senate.
As a former Marine, Missourian, and advocate for the middle class, my number one mission is to make sure everyday Missourians– working people who know how to take care of each other– call the shots in our country, not the monopolies, multinational corporations, and career politicians who’ve sold off jobs and land and stripped our communities for parts. We’re building a populist, people-powered movement to create good jobs and stronger communities.
For decades, we’ve lived in a broken system that puts most families one emergency away from economic disaster. And I know it because I’ve lived it. I grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri. My parents struggled to pay the bills, and when my little sister was born with a heart condition, we went bankrupt. Without a dollar to our name, we relied on my neighbors to help us make it. Black and white, young and old, they weren’t much better off, but we all took care of each other. That’s where I come from. And I’ve spent my life doing everything I can to honor that.
Through pell grants, scholarships, and the kindness of people around town, I went to Yale University and law school at Mizzou. Then I chose to join the Marine Corps, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the hardest things for me after those deployments was coming back home to Jeff City and seeing what was going on in my old neighborhood. In my 13 years of serving our country, I watched as massive corporations funded politicians like Roy Blunt so they could rewrite the rules in their favor and extract as much as they could out of our communities.
They let our farmland be sold overseas to China and Brazil. Then Anheuser Bush was sold to Inbev and 1,400 jobs were immediately cut. Then Monsanto to Germany. Dozens of headquarters to the coasts. Dozens of factories, family farms, and small businesses, all gone. I saw that the whole time my buddies and I were risking our lives and our country was spending trillions trying to build up these other countries– in towns like Habbaniyah, Fallujah, and Herat– we should have been spending our money, blood, and sweat on towns like St. Joe, St. Louis, and Jefferson City.
That’s why when I left the Marine Corps, I joined the nonprofit American Economic Liberties Project to fight corporate power– from Big Tech and Big Agriculture to pharmaceutical cartels and defense monopolies. And now, I’m running for U.S. Senate because the front line for that fight is right here in Missouri.
We need to fundamentally change who has power in this country. That starts with taking this Senate seat back for the working people who make this country great– like the friends and neighbors who helped my family when we needed it most.