It has been a privilege and an honor to represent the 6th Senate District for the last eight years. Growing up in north St. Louis, I never contemplated that God would bless me with the opportunity to serve in the Missouri Senate, much less as lieutenant governor. I do not feel worthy of either position.
I was very content with the prospect of leaving public service and going back to work on the farm and selling cars before Gov. Mike Parson called me this past weekend. When I spoke with the governor, I had only one pressing question for him: "Should I be cautious as an appointed lieutenant governor or should I approach the office as I have every other position and job in my life?" The governor's response was candid: "I want the real Mike Kehoe as lieutenant governor. I know the importance of the job, and I want your help in bringing Missourians together and moving the state forward."
After asking the governor for time to discuss this with my family, and after receiving their support, I called the governor and responded simply: "Yes, sir!"
Since being sworn into office on Monday, I have tried to hit the ground running. Some of my first actions were to reach out to members of Missouri's congressional delegation, statewide elected officials, legislators, and mayors from Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield. Additionally, I received briefings from the Missouri Highway Patrol, participated in an extensive briefing and tour of the State Emergency Management Agency and spoke with cabinet members.
On Thursday, I had the good fortune of having a brief stop-in at the Department of Revenue and the Division of Tourism, which turned into almost three hours of talking with employees, learning about their efforts to market Missouri (Tourism) and to dramatically reduce wait-times on tax returns and other customer service issues (Revenue). I was pleased to see many people I know, and excited to meet many others.
It is my desire to complement the efforts of Parson to bring stability and continuity to state government and to continue moving Missouri forward. I am grateful to the governor and to each of you for the trust and confidence placed in me. I will work every day to be found worthy and will not take it for granted. Thank you for the kindness and support you have shown, and continue to show, to me and my family, and thank you for the many prayers on our behalf.
Please know the office of the Sixth Senate District will continue to be staffed to support you from Room 321 and at 751-2076.
Feel free to visit both of your offices, in Rooms 321 and 224, if you find yourselves in the Capitol in the coming weeks and months.
Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe shares his perspective each Monday during the legislative session and occasionally during the interim.