The man who gained international attention after he and his wife waved guns at racial injustice protesters near their home last summer says he will run for the US Senate next year.
St Louis personal injury lawyer Mark McCloskey made the announcement on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Federal Election Commission’s website confirmed the existence of a “Mark McCloskey for Missouri” ticket, and that a website, mccloskeyforsenate.com, was seeking campaign donations.
“God came knocking on my door last summer disguised as an angry mob,” Mr McCloskey told Carlson. “And it really did wake me up.”
Incumbent Missouri Republican Roy Blunt announced in March he would not seek a third term. Mr McCloskey will seek the Republican nomination against two contenders with strong name recognition: Former governor Eric Greitens, who resigned from office amid a sex scandal in 2018, and Missouri attorney general Eric Schmitt.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey became celebrities in conservative circles — and were vilified among Democrats — after the incident on June 28 outside their lavish St Louis home.
Demonstrators were marching to the home of then-mayor Lyda Krewson amid nationwide protests after police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis. The protesters ventured onto a private street that includes the McCloskey mansion.
The couple, both lawyers in their early 60s, said they felt threatened after protesters broke down an iron gate and ignored a No Trespassing sign. Protest leaders denied damaging the gate and said the march was peaceful.
Mark McCloskey came out of his home with an AR-15-style rifle and Patricia McCloskey emerged with a semi-automatic handgun. Phone video captured the confrontation.
St Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, charged the couple with unlawful use of a weapon. A grand jury in October indicted them on the same charge and added an evidence tampering charge.
The couple contended the charges were politically motivated. They spoke via video at last year’s Republican National Convention. Republican Missouri governor Mike Parson has said he will pardon the McCloskeys if they are convicted.
Their case is due to go to trial in November.