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Kehoe snags Missouri Cattlemen’s Association ‘historically early’ endorsement

The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association is backing Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe for governor in 2024. 

Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) President Bruce Mershon said the endorsement, voted on by board members, was unanimous. The group informed Kehoe of its endorsement at its annual convention in Osage Beach earlier this week. 

“We know 2024 is a long way from today and anything can happen, but this endorsement speaks to who our members are. Cattle producers are extremely independent but also very loyal and aren’t afraid to jump in early and put all bets on the table for someone who is one of them and has had their back through thick and thin,” Mershon said. 

“Mike Kehoe is that candidate who’s a fighter for our causes and a friend to Missouri cattlemen,” Mershon said. 

“The historically early endorsement shouldn’t be a shocker to anyone,” MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering said. “Mike Kehoe has our back, whether it was his time in the state Senate or his time as Missouri’s lieutenant governor or over his nearly 30 years in the cattle business. Kehoe has always stood with family farmers and ranchers who are the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. Our association’s members stand with those who consistently and relentlessly stand with us. It’s simply who we are, and we are proud to endorse Mike Kehoe for Missouri governor in 2024.”

Kehoe is a first-generation farmer, previously telling The Missouri Times he’s responsible for cattle and hay on his farm. He has been a member of MCA for more than 20 years. 

“I am honored to receive this early support for governor from the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association,” Kehoe said. “As a first-generation cattle farmer in the heartland, I know that each season brings new challenges for our farm families because feeding America is no small task.” 

“Claudia and I want to personally thank all of Missouri’s farmers for their commitment to Missouri agriculture,” he added. “It’s an honor to stand with the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and all Missouri farmers as we work to make Missouri the top state in the country for agriculture.” 

Kehoe has served as Missouri’s lieutenant governor since his appointment in June 2018. He handily won his election to the seat in 2020. 

Prior to joining the executive branch, Kehoe rose to a leadership position within the state Senate where he represented Cole, Gasconade, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, and Osage counties as a Republican. He also chaired a variety of committees, including the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions, and Ethics Committee, while in the upper chamber. 

Born in St. Louis, Kehoe worked his way from car washing to sales management at a dealership growing up. By the time he was 25 years old, he was running Osage Industries in Linn. And in 1992, he started a Ford-Lincoln auto dealership in Jefferson City. 

Kehoe announced his candidacy for governor in March. His latest filing report showed he had more than $314,000 cash on hand.