There 13 counties that either entirely or partially make up Missouri’s 18th state Senate district in the northeastern corner of the state. Trump won all of them both times he ran. And in the state’s last U.S. Senate race, Republican-lite, fake Democrat Claire McCaskill lost all 13 to Senator Running Away. In fact, below are the 13 counties, first with McCaskill’s 2018 losing score and then with Biden’s 2020 losing score.
Adair- 40.2%… 35.9%
Audrain- 31.2%… 24.9%
Clark- 25.7%… 19.7%
Knox- 25.9%… 18.1%
Lewis- 24.6%… 21.0%
Marion- 28.2%… 23.6%
Monroe- 27.4%… 20.6%
Pike- 33.8%… 22.0%
Putnam- 18.7%… 15.2%
Ralls- 27.1%… 21.1%
Schuyler- 24.6%… 18.4%
Scotland- 24.7%… 19.2%
Shelby- 25.9%… 17.4%
Doesn’t exactly look like Democratic-friendly territory-- or at least not corporate Democratic-friendly territory. But it wasn’t always the case that Democrats lost in this area. Wes Shoemyer beat Republican Bob Behnen to win the district in 2006 and before that he represented the 9th state House district (Audrain, Lincoln, Monroe, Pile, Ralls and Shelby counties) in the same area. It’s a rural area and Shoemyer, who lives on a farm in Monroe County, served as vice president for the Monroe County Farm Bureau and was vice-chair of the House Agriculture Committee.
A few weeks ago Shoemyer penned an OpEd for the Missouri Times, Busch Valentine thinks rural Missourians don’t matter. She’s wrong. Busch Valentine is the heiress to the Busch beer billions, notorious as a once queen of an elite, white only/no Jews KKK debutant ball who, for no particular reason is running in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary against Lucas Kunce. When I say "running"— that’s a stretch. All she does is write her campaign million dollar checks and go to cocktail parties with other rich white people in the St. Louis area— no debates, no press interviews, almost no meeting the people… just a blanket-the-state with TV and radio ads approach. Lots of establishment consultants are getting very rich by giving her bad advice. How many zeros on this FEC contribution report?
After she announced that she would not be campaigning in rural areas— 97% of the state and over a third of the state’s voters— Shoemyer wrote that he and other residents of rural Missouri were furious. He wrote that he knows “what it takes for Democrats to win in tough parts. Believe me, it’s not easy. But you have to have the guts to try. At the very least, you have to be brave enough to show up and meet with us. It’s been well documented how our party last lost touch with rural voters. I attribute a big part of that to an unwillingness to show up and listen to us. Heck, how could you ever fight for us if you don’t know a thing about us? And nowadays, despite Democrats regularly losing by double digits statewide, in no small part due to this rural collapse, we’ve got Democratic candidates like Trudy Busch Valentine who don’t even think we’re worth their time. She’s even cut out the middle man— instead of getting ignored by politicians who are bought off by out-of-touch megadonors, we’ve moved on to just throwing the megadonor on the ballot instead… And what really grinds my gears about this whole thing is that Democrats have a real shot at winning the Senate race this year. And that work starts now. Let me say unequivocally— no candidate in either party can win this state without making inroads in rural Missouri. A candidate who is outright refusing to campaign in huge swaths of the state is a candidate who isn’t ready for prime time. Heck, they should be sued for political malpractice.”
That means not only showing up in our communities, but talking to us about the issues that impact our families and our livelihoods. Independent farmers are getting screwed by Big Ag. The meatpackers are stealing our profits. We’ve got foreign conglomerates destroying the land. We’re getting hammered by fertilizer prices set by price gouging corporations. It’s getting harder and harder to be an independent farmer. And for rural Democrats, the sad reality is that it’s leaders in both parties who’ve helped make it all happen.
But you’re not going to know that if you don’t show up. You can’t just read about it in some fancy periodical and say “Great, I get it, those rural folks have it rough,” or “Those people just vote against their own interests.”
… Luckily, there is a candidate who’s actually doing the work and making an early investment in communities like mine. Lucas Kunce has been out to farms across this state, taking time to talk with farmers, both Democrats and Republicans. He’s talking about plans to break up Big Ag, to prevent foreign ownership of our agricultural land, to empower independent farmers, and secure our food supply chain. He’s got a real shot at flipping this seat because he’s not afraid to show up in red parts of the state and get his message out here. If you want a real shot at flipping this state blue in November, that’s what it’s going to take.
Kunce is absolutely the best candidate running for the Senate anywhere this cycle. Small donors seem to think so too. (Also notice the horrible company Busch Valentine is with):
Current polling shows Kunce neck-and-neck with likely GOP nominee Eric Greitens but with Greitens-- with all his flaws-- beating the heiress by 9 points. Blue America has endorsed Kunce in the August 2 primary and please consider contributing to his campaign here. Lucas needs whatever you can spare for his get out the vote efforts.