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Candace Owens speaks at the Defense of Liberty event in St. Charles, Mo.

More than 1,000 Missourians gather to hear speakers promote liberty

Missourians are standing up to mask mandates, critical race theories and what they perceive as other infringements on their freedom. More than a thousand people gathered in St. Charles last Friday for the Defense of Liberty event sponsored by former state Rep. Paul Curtman and Sen. Bill Eigel.

“The Defense of Liberty event was an unbelievable success — 1,200 people from around the state and even other states came together to celebrate liberty,” Eigel told “The Missouri Times.” “It was the largest political event at the St. Charles Convention Center since President Donald Trump himself visited in 2018.”

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt touted his fight to end mask mandates in the state, Rep. Vicky Hartzler decried critical race theory, Rep. Billy Long recalled why he got into the race and attorney Mark McCloskey recounted the now infamous protest outside of his house that garnered national media attention. Former Gov. Eric Greitens was the only candidate who did not attend the event.

Those in attendance voted state Sen. Bob Onder Liberty Champion of the Year for standing up for basic liberties, with Sen. Mike Moon the runner-up. A straw poll of the U.S. Senate candidates also was conducted, but the results were not immediately available. Several prominent Missouri Republicans, including Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, were in attendance. Conservative political commentator Candace Owens headlined the event.

“Candace Owens is great, and her message is clear — reform our broken government systems or risk losing America,” Eigel said. “This is the choice that will occupy elected and candidate Republicans in the coming years.”

Before the event, Eigel had a private fundraiser featuring Owens that included around 50 prominent Missouri business owners and reportedly raised about $40,000.