“We’ve been really blessed,” Kehoe said. “Claudia and I think it’s our time to give back to Missourians. It’s been a good community and state to us — Missourians have welcomed us into their homes. I love this state, I’m a true Missourian who’s never lived anywhere else, and I think it’s our opportunity to give back.”
Kehoe praised the work of Gov. Mike Parson, saying he hoped to bring a similar tone and focus to the office if given the chance. He said the main reason for last week’s announcement was to clear the field for others hoping to contend for U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s seat in 2022.
Kehoe appeared on Sunday’s episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” to discuss his announcement in addition to the results of the 2020 election and this year’s legislative session. He also reviewed his stance on issues including the Second Amendment and abortion.
“The most fundamental, innocent person that you can protect is that person in the womb that can’t speak for themselves,” Kehoe said. “Way before politics, I’ve been involved with multiple organizations, both in the community and statewide. … We really believe in the passionate plea that that person that can’t speak for themselves has, and I think as elected officials we’re the person that needs to speak for that person.”
U.S. Senate race
Sen. Karla Eslinger, Columbia Mayor Brian Treece, Axiom Strategies senior associate Hannah Beers Sutton, and The Missouri Times editor Kaitlyn Schallhorn joined this week’s panel to discuss COVID-19, session, and the upcoming U.S. Senate race after major contenders Attorney General Eric Schmitt and former Gov. Eric Greitens officially announced their bids last week.
“In my humble opinion, I think Eric Schmitt is the right guy to do that,” Sutton said of the race. “Out of all the rumored candidates, he’s the only one who has won statewide twice overwhelmingly; Missourians love him. … I think Missourians are ready for Eric Schmitt to be senator.”
Treece said the possibility of a crowded Republican primary could lead to a tight race as several other possible announcements loom.
“I think at some point it becomes the more the merrier,” he said. “I think Congressman [Jason] Smith looks at it, Congresswoman [Ann] Wagner, Congresswoman [Vicky] Hartzler — that 30, 35 percent victory margin may be 17 percent depending on how many people get in.”