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Mark McCloskey, known for confronting protesters, enters Missouri Senate race

Mark McCloskey, who made national headlines last summer when he and his wife defended their St. Louis home against protestors, announced on Tuesday that he is entering the U.S. Senate race in Missouri.

McCloskey had alluded to a run in an April 17 speech at the Reagan-Lincoln Day dinner in Kansas City. He made it official with an appearance on Fox News, blasting what he called the “wholesale slaughter of our civil liberties” under the current administration. In both his TV appearance and campaign ad, McCloskey referenced the protestors who demonstrated near his house last summer after the murder of George Floyd.

“God came knocking on my door last summer disguised as an angry mob, and it really did wake me up,” he told Tucker Carlson. “And as I campaigned for [former President Donald Trump] last fall, and as we’ve continued to do rallies and events supporting our constitutional rights, what I’ve learned is that people out there in our country are just sick and tired of cancel culture and the poison of critical race theory and the big lie of systemic racism — all backed up by the threat of mob violence.”

Sen. Roy Blunt announced he would not seek re-election in March, setting off a flurry of speculation of just who could replace him. Aside from the three Republicans who have formally announced, most of Missouri’s Republican congressional delegation are considering runs, including Congressman Jason Smith and Congresswoman Ann Wagner.

Following the now-infamous incident when McCloskey and his wife, Patricia, brandished firearms and waved them at demonstrators, the couple was both charged with unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence. They have pleaded not guilty.

McCloskey jumping into the race is expected to hurt one Republican candidate in particular: Greitens. The two are campaigning more to the right and have similar followings in the state, and McCloskey undercuts Greitens’ “outsider” message.  Over the past few weeks, McCloskey has made appearances at Lincoln Days dinners and other events. He and his wife also addressed the Republican National Convention last year.

As news of McCloskey’s campaign broke, former U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said on Twitter: “The only qualification you need to run for U.S. Senate is to wave a gun around at Black people.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice