Mark McCloskey, the attorney who pointed a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters alongside his wife last year, filed paperwork on Tuesday to run for one of Missouri’s Senate seats in 2022.
“When the angry mob came to destroy my house and kill my family, I took a stand against them,” McCloskey said in a campaign video that was unveiled on Fox News on Tuesday. “Now I’m asking for the privilege to take that stand for all of us.”
McCloskey and his wife, Patricia McCloskey, both lawyers, sparked national outrage last year as the country was in the grips of a series of racial justice protests. On June 28, a group of demonstrators in St. Louis marched toward the home of the city’s then-mayor, ultimately walking down the McCloskeys’ street in front of their $1.1 million home.
Video of the couple armed with firearms and waving them at protesters went viral, leading the pair to be lambasted by the left and vaunted by the right as conservative icons. They later spoke at the Republican National Convention and earned the praise of then-President Donald Trump.
(As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes, no one was on his property when the couple confronted the protesters.)
A grand jury indicted the McCloskeys last October and charged them with the unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. The pair have argued they were exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms and abiding by a state statute that allows Missourians to use deadly force against intruders.
They are due to stand trial later this year, with a tentative court date of Nov. 1.
“I’ve spent 36 years fighting for the rights of my fellow Missourians. And Missourians want a fighter who will stand up against cancel culture, the poison of critical race theory, the violent mobs and rising crime, and the spread of socialism,” McCloskey said in a statement. “After being encouraged to run by people all over Missouri, today I’m announcing that I’m entering the race for U.S. Senate to fight for Missouri values.”
Gov. Mike Parson (R) said last year he would “most certainly” pardon them if they are ultimately convicted.
McCloskey, 64, is one of three Republicans so far running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Roy Blunt (R), who was first elected to the chamber in 2010. He said in March he would not seek reelection next year.
Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned amid an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, has also declared his candidacy, as has the state’s attorney general, Eric Schmitt.