The race for Missouri US Senator now has a fully represented St. Louis regional presence. State Senator Karla May joined the declared field of St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell, and Lucas Kunce for the Democratic nod to unseat Republican incumbent U.S. Senator Josh Hawley.
May was first elected to office in 2010 as State Representative of Missouri’s House District 84. The daughter of former St. Louis City Alderwoman Parrie May, Senator May has long been a fierce and determined competitor and campaigner and brings legislative experience to her quest.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell, former judge and public defender was the second declared candidate to enter the race. Bel was first elected as a Ferguson City Councilman in 2015. He defeated 28 year incumbent Prosecutor Bob McCullough becoming St. Louis County’s first Black Prosecuting Attorney.
Lucas Kunce, a Marine veteran, finished second in the Democratic primary in 2022 behind Trudy Bush Valentine made his announcement and entry with a symbolic flare, on the second anniversary of the January 6th insurrection.
of the U.S. Capitol. His previous state-wide race and a list of early traditional Democratic donors such as labor endorsements may be pivotal in offsetting his lack of political experience.
Missouri, nationally and statewide, by the numbers without debate is a solid red state. Hawley’s favorability rating according to Change Research, a San Francisco-based polling firm is just under 43 percent. This fact and the events surrounding the January 6th attack on the Capitol and Hawley’s now famed meme, his tacitly coded fist pump which some viewed as a show of support for the insurrectionists gives Democrats a glimmer of hope to shade the red state with a blue hue.
President Joe Biden still is widely unpopular throughout the state, with favorability highest in the urban state corridors of St. Louis and Kansas City. What is of interest to wait and see is how the Democratic contenders align themselves with President Biden on the issues.
What has yet to be seen and is expected to come to the fore, is clearly articulated candidate positions on some of the most perilous and troublesome issues the country is facing on the national and global stage.