Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis lawyer known for wielding a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters outside his home last year, announced his candidacy for the Missouri Senate on Tuesday.
McCloskey, a Republican, announced his candidacy for Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program.
“I’ve always been a Republican, but I’ve never been a politician,” McCloskey told Carlson. “But, you know, God came knocking on my door last summer disguised as an angry mob, and it really woke me up.”
McCloskey said he was inspired to run for office as he rallied for former President Donald Trump.
“All we hear is talk, and nothing ever changes,” he said. “You have to send people to Washington who are ready to speak the truth and stand up for our values.”
McCloskey joins a main GOP area that includes State Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Eric Greitens, the former governor who was dismissed from office in 2018 for allegations of campaign finance violations and sexual misconduct . Charges in both cases were dropped.
Republican Senator Roy Blunt announced in March that he would not run for another term next year, sparking what could be an intense fight for the open seat.
Greitens, who also declared his candidacy on Fox News, has worked to align himself with Trump supporters. He enlisted Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Trump campaign aide who is Donald Trump Jr.’s partner, as national campaign chair. He’s also a frequent guest on a daily podcast hosted by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.
McCloskey and his wife, Patricia, made national headlines in June when they brandished guns at people in their neighborhood who were peacefully protesting police brutality and the city’s mayor after George Floyd’s death in custody on sight in Minneapolis.
Their actions made them heroes in some GOP circles and earned them a speaking spot at Trump’s Republican National Convention. They subsequently pleaded not guilty to two counts. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, said he would pardon the couple if they were convicted.
Missouri Democrats struggled in the recent statewide election, but they see an opportunity in next year’s Senate election, especially if Republicans name the Greens loaded with baggage.