JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The state of Missouri has a new lieutenant governor. For the second time in less than three weeks, there has been another change at the top of state government. Mike Kehoe is now the state’s 48th Lt. Governor.
Kehoe, 56, took the oath of office just after 1 p.m. Monday afternoon. He replaces Governor Mike Parson, who took over the chief executive position after Eric Greitens resigned.
The governor described the type of person he was looking for during a news conference.
“Leadership, humility, meaningful experience, a willingness to listen to your adversaries, and the heart of a public servant,” he said.
Legal experts questioned if Missouri’s constitution would allow the governor to fill the vacated lieutenant governor’s office. Governor Parson said legal experts and history support his decision to fill the position via appointment.
“My position is not unique. In fact, it is the same view by nearly every governor in recent history,” Parson said.
Lt. Governor Kehoe grew up in north St. Louis City in the Walnut Park, Baden area. He said that his family was molded by various challenges.
Kehoe’s family was in attendance for Monday’s swearing-in, including his 90-year-old mother, Lorraine. She raised six children as a single mother. Kenhoe said he understands the struggle working woman face and he carries those memories with him.
“I will continue to have that in my heart and mind as I move forward in any public-sector job I have,” Kehoe said.
Kehoe attended Chaminade College Prep. He grew up Chaminade released a congratulatory letter. The lieutenant governor started washing cars when he was 15 at Dave Sinclair Ford.
“Republican or Democrat, Mike’s just done what’s right,” said James Sinclair, one of Kehoe’s friends. “He understands blue collar-white collar. He ran a business. He owned a business. He was raised by a single mother. He understands scoop to nuts.
During a post-swearing-in address, Kehoe said he shares the governor’s priority of improving infrastructure in the state, especially when it comes to roads.