Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday that Sen. Michael Kehoe will serve as lieutenant governor of Missouri, taking the place of Parson, who was sworn in as governor when former Gov. Eric Greitens resigned June 1.
“The lieutenant governor position is an important position, not just because of duties assigned by Missouri law and the state constitution, but also to reassure Missourians that all operations of state government will continue,”Parson said in a news release. “Mike is someone who will bring great experience to the lieutenant governor’s office as part of this administration. He will provide valuable leadership experience to Missouri as well.”
Kehoe was elected in 2010 to the Missouri Senate representing the citizens of the 6th District. He later was re-elected in 2014 to serve a second term.
In 2005, Gov. Matt Blunt asked Kehoe to serve on Missouri’s Highways and Transportation Commission, and in 2009, Kehoe was elected to be the chairman. Kehoe has held leadership positions for several committees: Administration, Vice-Chairman; Gubernatorial Appointments, Vice-Chairman; Local Government and Elections; Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics, Chairman; Joint Committee on Capitol Improvements; Senate Select Committee on Capital Improvements, Chairman; Blue Ribbon Panel on Immigration; Joint Committee on Corrections.
Kehoe also has served on the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association Board, the Linn State Technical College Board of Regents, the Jefferson City Commerce, the USS Missouri (SSN-780) Commissioning Committee, the Central Missouri United Way and the Jefferson City Diocese Jubilee Committee.
Several former and current state leaders applauded Parson’s actions in choosing Kehoe for the post, including former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, U.S. Congresswoman Ann Wagner and U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer.
“Missourians are best served by having a Lt. Governor in office,” Nixon said in a news release. “In 1992, Missouri voters added significant additional duties to the office that would be unmet if the position remained vacant. Also, Missouri’s unique succession laws could cause constitutional challenges if the governor becomes disabled when the Lt. Governor’s Office remained vacant. As Attorney General and later Governor, I research this issued extensively and firmly believe the Governor has the authority to fill a vacancy in this office by appointment.”
Wagner said, “I applaud Governor Parson for choosing a strong, conservative leader as our next Lt. Governor. Over the three decades I have had the privilege of calling Senator Mike Kehoe a friend and colleague, he has been a true citizen servant who puts the people, values, and traditions of the Show-Me State first. Mike’s leadership has strengthened his district in mid-Missouri as well as our state, and he will be a welcome addition to Missouri’s executive branch in Jefferson City.”
Luetkemeyer said, “Governor Mike Parson has made a smart choice in appointing Mike Kehoe to serve as Lieutenant Governor. A fixture in Jefferson City for more than a decade, Mike will be a great leader for Missouri, and I look forward to working alongside him and Governor Parson to continue helping Missourians across the state.”