Josh Hawley's challenger boasts early fundraising lead after highlighting role in Jan. 6

Sen. Josh Hawley's (R-MO) opponent easily outraised him in the first three months of 2023 since he entered the 2024 Senate race in Missouri.

Democrat Lucas Kunce, who has highlighted Hawley's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, reported $1.14 million in donations in the first quarter of this year, which is more than $300,000 than the $816,445 reported by the Missouri Republican, reported The Kansas City Star.

“We’re not only proud of raising a record amount of money, we’re proud of how we did it,” said Kunce's campaign manager Caleb Cavarretta. “Lucas continues to focus on real people in his fight against Josh Hawley, not massive corporations that have bankrolled Hawley for years and helped him strip this state for parts.”

Kunce ran for U.S. Senate last year but lost in the Democratic primary to Busch beer heiress Trudy Busch Valentine, a first-time candidate who then lost badly to Republican Eric Schmitt in the November election.

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Missouri has been increasingly trending toward Republicans in recent years, and Hawley beat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill by more than 5 percentage points in 2018, while Donald Trump beat Joe Biden in the state by more than 15 points in 2020.

Hawley reported $4 million in his campaign account, in comparison to $695,681 for Kunce, and that doesn't include a super PAC supporting the GOP senator because it doesn't have to report donations for this year, and the Republican's campaign dismissed the early fundraising lead reported by the Democrat's campaign in the first quarter.

“Josh has taken on the most powerful interests in the nation to protect Missourians — big pharma, big tech, the corporate monopolies,” said Kyle Plotkin, a political consultant for Hawley. “The woke and powerful will flood Missouri with money from the coasts to try to buy this race. We expect the eventual nominee to raise close to $100 million.”