Mike Kehoe was born in St. Louis on January 17, 1962. The youngest of six children, Mike was raised by a single parent – his mother. At the age of 15, he started washing cars for Dave Sinclair Ford and worked his way up into sales management by his early 20’s. When he was 25, Mike was given an opportunity lead Osage Industries in Linn, Missouri. During his time in Linn, he grew the employment from 25 to 60, and expanded product distribution from just two states to all of North America. In 1992, Mike sold Osage Industries to its employees and purchased the Ford and Lincoln-Mercury franchises in Jefferson City that he owned and operated until 2011.
Mike has received national recognition and awards throughout his career. In 1991, he received the SBA’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and in 1996 was honored by the Automotive Hall of Fame when he received the Young Leader in Excellence Award. In 1998 Mike was elected by his peers to serve on Ford Motor Company’s National Dealer Council and in 2000 he placed in the Top 5 for Time Magazine’s Dealer of the Year Award.
In 2005, Mike was asked by Governor Blunt to serve on Missouri’s Highway and Transportation Commission, and in 2009 was elected to be the Chairman. Mike has also served on the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association Board, the Linn State Technical College Board of Regents, the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, the USS Missouri (SSN-780) Commissioning Committee, the Central Missouri United Way, and the Jefferson City Diocese Jubilee Committee.
On November 2, 2010, Mike was elected to represent Missouri’s Sixth Senate District. During his first two years in the Senate Mike served on the following Senate Committees: Education, Commerce, and Transportation. Beginning with the 2013 session, Mike was chosen to serve as the Chair of the Transportation Committee, the Vice-Chair of the Commerce Committee and as a member of the Appropriations and Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committees. In addition to these committee assignments, Mike was elected by his fellow Senators to serve in a leadership capacity as the Assistant Majority Floor Leader.
Mike and his wife Claudia married in 1989. They have four children – Carol, Michael, Maggie, and Claire. Mike and Claudia are active in the Jefferson City Catholic school system and the Diocese of Jefferson City. The Kehoes are also proud supporters of the United Way, the American Cancer Society, the Heart Association, the Central Missouri 4-H, the Helias Foundation, the Jefferson City Veterans Council, the Boy Scouts, Jefferson City High School, and St. Mary’s Hospital. Outside of the dealership and civic activities, the family spends much of their time at their farm on the Gasconade River in Phelps County.