Kehoe to deliver LU graduation address next Saturday

State Sen. Mike Kehoe will be the keynote speaker for Lincoln University’s 2014 Commencement exercises, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, in Dwight Reed Stadium in Jefferson City.

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Sen. Mike Kehoe

LU will present him with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the Commencement ceremonies.

Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, is in the last year of his first four-year term and has filed for re-election to represent Missouri’s 6th Senate District, which includes Cole, Moniteau, Morgan, Miller, Maries, Osage and Gasconade counties. Democrat Mollie Freebairn is challenging his re-election bid in next November’s general election.

Before running for the Senate in 2010, Kehoe served on the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, and now chairs the Senate’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

He also is the Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee’s vice-chair.

And Kehoe is a member of the Senate’s Administration; Appropriations; and Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight committees.

Republican Caucus members chose him as the assistant majority floor leader in November 2012.

Kehoe, 52, is a North St. Louis County native who began washing cars for a St. Louis Ford dealer, and worked his way into sales management.

In 1987, at age 25, he moved to Linn, to lead Osage Industries, growing the business from 25-60 employees and expanding product distribution from two states to all of North America.

In 1992, he sold the business to its employees, and bought the Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealerships in Jefferson City.

Almost 20 years later, in October 2011, Kehoe sold the dealerships to the Columbia-based Joe Machens company — and now works for that company.

He’s earned a number of national honors, including awards from the Small Business Association, Ford Motor Company and the Automotive Hall of Fame. In 1998, Ford dealers elected him to the company’s National Dealer Council.

He’s a former member of the Linn State Technical College Board of Regents, and last year was the Senate sponsor of a bill changing that school’s name to the Technical College of Missouri, beginning July 1.

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