Kehoe to prioritize crime prevention in 2024 gubernatorial campaign
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
While Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe kicked off his 2024 campaign for governor Tuesday at the Capitol Bluff Event Center, he announced his focus on crime and working together, and responded to accusations from other candidates.
Kehoe previously announced he was running in April 2022. The election will be Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024.
Kehoe has been the lieutenant governor since he was appointed by Gov. Mike Parson in 2018, after Parson was promoted to governor following the departure of former Gov. Eric Greitens. Kehoe kept the seat after winning in the 2020 election.
He previously served as a state senator from 2011-18 and served as the Senate majority leader for a number of years. He owned a car dealership in Jefferson City before going into politics.
During his campaign kickoff, Kehoe shared that some pillars of his campaign are creating unity among often-feuding state lawmakers and attempting to reduce crime across the state.
"Crime is what I hear about everywhere I go in the state, and I say, but you know what, it's fixable," Kehoe said.
Other Republican candidates running for governor include Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Chris Wright. State Sen. Bill Eigel is expected to announced his run soon. No Democratic candidates have officially declared, although some speculate House Minority Leader Rep. Crystal Quade may run.
Aschroft sent out a message Tuesday accusing Kehoe of raising taxes several times both as a state senator and in his current position.
"Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who has never supported a tax increase, announced that he’s taken Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and will announce a major tax reform plan as Missouri Governor," an email from Ashcroft's campaign team reads.
Kehoe responded to the allegations by saying those were investments in infrastructure and many were put to a vote of the people.
"When you're in leadership and you know that there's a problem, it's not always easy to put forward solutions that make people uncomfortable," Kehoe said. "And I respect the Secretary of State's opinion. As a matter of fact, it was his father who put forward the last gas tax increase back in the early '90s."