In mid-May 2021, St. Louis lawyer Mark McCloskey announced that he would be running for the Missouri U.S. Senate seat in the 2022 election.
McCloskey and his wife, Patricia, displayed two guns during a racial-injustice protest outside of their Missouri home during Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, sparking controversy and prompting a legal investigation after a video of the confrontation went viral.
— Daniel Shular (@xshularx) June 29, 2020
Following wide circulation of the video, the McCloskeys emerged as celebrities in some Republican and conservative circles, speaking on video during the Republican National Convention in advance of the 2020 General Election.
Mark McCloskey’s bid for the Senate was announced on Twitter on May 18, 2021, during a three-minute-long political campaign ad that at the time of this writing had received more than 206,000 views.
An angry mob marched to destroy my home and kill my family, I took a stand to defend them.
I am a proven fighter against the mob
When the mob comes to destroy our home, our state, our nation— I’ll defend it
I will NEVER BACK DOWN
— Mark McCloskey (@Mark__McCloskey) May 19, 2021
The political hopeful said that he hoped to “defend our homes, the great state of Missouri, and this great nation” and referred to the racial-injustice protesters who came to his door as a “fascist mob.” Snopes contacted McCloskey for further clarification on his platform goals but did not receive a response at the time of publication. We will update this article if we hear back.
McCloskey reiterated many of the emotional sentiments made in the announcement video — which included a link to a fundraising site — during the May 19 airing of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News in a one-minute clip.
“I’ve always been a Republican, but I’ve never been a politician. But, you know, God came knocking on my door last summer disguised as an angry mob and it really did wake me up,” McCloskey told the talk show host.
“And as I campaigned for the president last fall, and as we’ve continued to do rallies and events supporting our Constitutional rights, what I’ve learned is the people out there in this country are just sick and tired of cancel culture and the poison of critical race theory and the big lie of systemic racism — all backed up by the threat of mob violence.”
During the Carlson interview, McCloskey also stated that he was “never a Democrat” and said that such claims made up “the biggest fake news slur” that he’s ever heard; a Snopes report found that he had previously donated to both Democratic and Republican political campaigns until 2021.
Court records showed that the couple had pulled a gun before in defense of their property, and the duo face felony charges for unlawful use of weapons and tampering with physical evidence. They have pleaded not guilty.
The couple was indicted by a grand jury in October 2020, but the case has had problems. A circuit judge disqualified the previously assigned circuit attorney from prosecuting the case in December after ruling that evidence suggested she “initiated a criminal prosecution for political purposes.” In February 2021, U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan was appointed as a special prosecutor to the case, and the trial is expected to occur in November 2021. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has promised to issue pardons if the couple is convicted.