Missouri lawmakers react to Parson's appointment of Kehoe as lieutenant governor

Missouri Sen. Mike Kehoe swears in to the office of lieutenant governor. (KRCG 13)

Several Missouri lawmakers reacted to Monday's announcement of Gov. Mike Parson appointing Sen. Mike Kehoe as the state's lieutenant governor.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, released this statement:

"Mike Kehoe is a great friend and great public official. He truly understands the importance of good jobs to our economy and to families. Mike has worked tirelessly to ensure we have the infrastructure in place to compete and a prepared workforce to grow our economy. His experience as a business owner, cattle rancher, and state senator will make him an asset to the Parson administration, and I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, released a statement:

“I commend the governor’s selection of Mike Kehoe as our state’s next lt. governor. For more than a decade, Sen. Kehoe has proven he has the experience and is committed to serving the people of Missouri. Not only is Mike a close colleague, but he is a good friend. I have been fortunate to witness his strong leadership skills and his passion for the Show-Me State. He knows how to communicate with people and has always displayed a willingness to listen to both sides. As Majority Leader of the Senate he was able to work across the aisle reasonably and fairly, and I know he will bring those values to his new role as lt. governor.”

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, released the following statement:

“I’ve known Mike Kehoe for many years and have always appreciated his willingness to join me in passing good public policy to help the families and businesses of St. Louis succeed. You cannot be a good leader in the legislature without having bipartisan support. Senator Kehoe, has worked across party lines to keep the Senate a functional body over his tenue in leadership. Sen. Kehoe is an accomplished businessman and successful farmer, and he has served the people of Missouri for more than a decade as a member of Highway and Transportation Commission and later as a State Senator. Born in North St. Louis, Sen. Kehoe understands and values this region and its people, and I know he will continue to support this City as an economic engine of our state.”

House Minority Floor Leader Gail McCann Beatty said she sent Kehoe a congratulatory note afterward.

"He's been willing to work with me," she said. "I think he'll be willing to work with our new governor."

Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, said Kehoe has been a political mentor for him. He said the appointment is great news for the state.

"I'm just glad Mike's there filling that role. I think he's a great addition to our state's government," he said.

Former Missouri governors also weighed in on the announcement:

  • Kit Bond - “The people of Missouri deserve a full slate of constitutional officials serving them and the governor needs a lieutenant governor. I applaud Governor Parson for demonstrating leadership by filling this vacancy in a thoughtful and deliberate manner.”
  • Jay Nixon - “Missourians are best served by having a Lt. Governor in office. 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.”
  • Bob Holden - “The Legislature has not provided any alternative to the Governor making the appointment to fill the Lt. Governor's position when vacant and past practices based on legal counsel from prior Governors based on their legal opinions of the Missouri constitution and the statutes is that the Governor shall make an appointment to fill the Lt. Governor's position.”
  • Matt Blunt - ”Governor Parson has made another great decision in appointing Mike Kehoe as the next Lieutenant Governor. Mike is a dedicated public servant who will fulfill all his new responsibilities with skill and integrity. I believe our constitution empowers the governor to fill this and other vacancies. Given the many assigned responsibilities of the Lieutenant Governor it is clear to me that the intent was and is that Missouri should have a leader in that role.”

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