Despite considering a run for U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s seat in 2022, Kehoe said his heart was set on continuing to work for the state from Jefferson City.
“I am humbled to know so many Missourians see an even greater leadership role for me in Missouri,” he said. “While Claudia and I have been honored by the encouragement and offers of support for me to serve as Missouri’s next U.S. Senator, my true calling remains to work on behalf of Missourians in Missouri as lieutenant governor and as candidate for governor in 2024.”
Here’s a look at Kehoe’s career so far, from mid-Missouri businessman to a gubernatorial hopeful.
Lieutenant governor: 2018-present
Kehoe was appointed lieutenant governor when Gov. Mike Parson assumed the chief executive’s office in June 2018. The Republican won his bid for a full term in 2020, securing his seat by a landslide alongside other statewide Republicans.
While in office, Kehoe has focused on health care for seniors, veterans, and Missouri businesses.
Missouri Senate: 2011-2018
Kehoe was first elected to represent SD 6 in 2010, covering seven mid-Missouri counties: Cole, Gasconade, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, and Osage. He won his re-election bid in 2014 with nearly 80 percent of the vote.
During his tenure in the upper chamber, Kehoe spent two years as assistant majority floor leader before a three-year stint as majority floor leader. He also chaired a variety of committees, including the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions, and Ethics Committee, during his legislative career.
Kehoe was also honored as The Missouri Times’ inaugural Statesman of the Year in 2018 for his work in the legislature.
Before entering politics, Kehoe was well-known as a businessman in mid-Missouri. In addition to being a first-generation farmer, he worked his way up from washing cars as a teenager to sales management, running Osage Industries in Linn by the time he was 25. He started his own business in Jefferson City, Mike Kehoe Ford-Lincoln, in 1992.
He has also been active in his community prior to the statehouse, having served as chairman of the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce and the United Way Fund Drive.