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Democratic Senate candidate Kunce wants to help change power structure

This is one story in a series looking at candidates for Missouri's U.S. Senate seat.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ.)

Lucas Kunce, a 13-year Marine Corps veteran and Democrat running for U.S. Senate, says he's confident about his chances of victory.

"I mean we're being outspent 5-to-1 and we are still on the dead heat in the polls right? Because we have a real message," Kunce said this week in an ABC 17 News interview. "I grew up like everyday Missourians and everyone knows that if you want to be represented for real ... you need someone who grew up like you ... who understands."

Kunce is running against Trudy Busch Valentine, nurse and heir to the Anheuser Busch beer fortune, and nine other candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt's seat. The winner will move on to the November general election.

Kunce says he hopes to fundamentally change who has power in this country if he wins.

"I'm tired of our neighborhoods our communities being stripped for parts, never being invested in because the people who run our politics take money from the wrong folks and they do exactly what those people want rather than helping all of us," Kunce said, emphasizing the populist message that is a key plank of his campaign.

Kunce is a Jefferson City native and says he knows what it's like to live in a working-class neighborhood where people lived paycheck-to-paycheck. Kunce says he is here to invest in Missouri and the Midwest.

The Jefferson City native has received some backlash based on claims he is anti-abortion and against LGBTQ rights that come from a past state legislative campaign. Kunce says he found those accusations to be crazy and untrue. He says the attacks come from the well-heeled Busch Valentine, who can't connect with regular Missourians because of her class status.

"I stand for everything that I want to stand for. You can see it all on the website. We're putting out our ads. You know I support gay marriage. I support access to abortion," Kunce said.

Kunce and Busch Valentine are seen as frontrunners and they've been trading attacks in campaign ads. In addition to attempts to label Busch Valentine out of touch with regular Missourians, Kunce allies have also questioned her support for LGBTQ rights.

Article Topic Follows: Your Voice Your Vote

Kennedy Miller

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