Mysterious Missouri U.S. Senate candidate speaks out

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - A video released in late September was our introduction to Courtland Sykes. Equal parts brash and bombastic, the video paints a dark picture of America, a tactic used successfully in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Sykes took note of Trump’s path to power. In his first television interview, Sykes told Fox 2's Mike Colombo he too wants to “Make America Great Again” by pushing Trump’s “America First” agenda. Sykes said his pro-gun, anti-abortion, IRS eliminating, border wall building, climate change denying stances are bold by design.

“We’re going to be wrecking shop, cleaning house, and reconstructing. That’s our goal,” Sykes said.

On the way to achieving that goal, Sykes will first have to win the Republican primary race against a group of challengers headlined by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. A feat that may have become more difficult after President Trump’s visit to St. Charles, Missouri Wednesday.

Trump’s promise to stump for Hawley, coupled with criticism of incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill, and no mention of Courtland Sykes, speaks to perhaps the biggest problem facing the self-proclaimed political outsider: he’s largely unknown and gaining attention in the political arena can be a slippery slope.

Take, for example, Sykes' latest ad. It's just a snapshot of a 40-minute documentary his team released on YouTube supporting the Alabama Senate candidate accused of child molestation and sexual misconduct.

"There is not a scintilla of evidence proving that Roy Moore did anything. It’s just pure accusations three weeks before an important election. This isn’t a coincidence, this is garbage,” Sykes said.

While Sykes’ support of Roy Moore is clear, his life prior to his Senate candidacy is bit of a mystery. He tells Fox 2's Mike Colombo he grew up in Arkansas and then Florida. After the September 11 terror attacks, Sykes said he joined the Navy and served four tours of duty. Much of his work focused on analyzing intelligence. After the Navy, he said he studied government at Harvard’s Extension School.

Sykes calls Independence, Missouri home, along with his fiancé, Chanel, and their dog. He works as Managing Director of Talosorion, a company he described like this: “It’s a consulting and education firm, frankly; specifically designed for military and special forces intelligence guys.”

When it comes to fundraising, specific figures weren’t shared, but Sykes said me his donors include grassroots organizations and Make America Great Again donors. Then there’s this – a brief exchange with former Trump chief strategist and conservative firebrand Steve Bannon during his September visit to St. Louis.

Colombo asked Sykes if he discussed his political aspirations or him entering the senate race.

Did Bannon give Sykes any sort of advice or offer support?

"It was very brief, I did mention I was running, and the rest of our conversation I’d like to remain private,” Sykes said.

Is Courtland Sykes a flash in the political pan or is this the beginning of another Trumpian tale? Primary voters will have their say on August 7.