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Decision 2022: Missouri U.S. Senate seat closely watched on Primary Day

Posted at 8:56 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 23:45:57-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With days to go until the Missouri primary, U.S. Senate party candidates are still introducing themselves to voters.

"I'm Lucas Kunce, I'm a Marine veteran, 13 years [in] Iraq and Afghanistan," Kunce said. "I spent my entire life serving this country."

He's in a crowded Democratic field, vying for a nomination to compete for Roy Blunt's U.S. Senate seat this November.

In a one-on-one interview, Kunce told KSHB 41 his message is straightforward.

"We need to have systems in place that protect everyday people and take care of them," he said.

Kunce is considered a front-runner, according to Dr. Matt Harris, a political science professor at Park University.

"It will be either Lucas Kunce or Trudy Busch-Valentine, but you do have a bunch of other candidates," Harris said. "Spencer Toder and some others, and that does kind of open things up to uncertainty."

KSHB 41 reached out to Trudy Busch-Valentine and Spencer Toder's campaigns for this report, but we have not heard back.

Whoever wins the nomination faces an uphill climb in the general election.

"When you look at statewide races in Missouri, you need something funky to happen to have a Democrat win," Harris said. "They're going to need some breaks to go their way to make things close or to win."

Missouri was +15 for the Republican Party in the 2020 presidential election, but this year's primary brings new circumstances.

"You've got some potential confounding factors, one, how would the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade? How will that affect turnout and registration?" Harris said.

Missouri voters head to the polls this Tuesday to pick their nominees for one of 35 United States Senate races across the country this fall.