Former Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe Appointed to Lieutenant Governor

Governor Mike Parson appointed Mike Kehoe as Missouri’s new Lieutenant Governor this week. Mike Kehoe is a former state legislator who served in the Missouri Senate. Kehoe’s eight-year term was set to expire at the end of this year. Before becoming involved in legislative work, Kehoe was part of the automobile industry, and owned a dealership for 20 years. 

However, Parson’s appointment is being challenged as opponents question his authority to appoint a lieutenant governor. The Missouri Constitution does not specifically address how a lieutenant governor should be replaced if a vacancy occurs.

The Constitution says the governor shall fill all vacancies in public office “unless otherwise provided by law,” and those appointees shall serve until their successors are duly elected, but it also adds that he has this authority in all cases “other than in the offices of lieutenant governor, state senator or representative, sheriff, or recorder of deeds in the city of St. Louis.” Missouri law lays out that legislative vacancies are filled through special elections, but offers no specifics about how the lieutenant governor is to be replaced.