Peter Dickson Kinder was born on May 12th, 1954. He is an American lawyer and politician who served as the 46th Lieutenant Governor of Missouri from 2005 to 2017. He was appointed as a co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority in August 2017.
In 2004, Kinder was elected lieutenant governor after succeeding Joe Maxwell and was re-elected in 2008. Kinder was the only Republican in Missouri to win a statewide office in 2008, as all the other Republicans running for each of the other statewide offices were defeated. Despite the poor election year for Republicans, Kinder carried 109 of Missouri’s 114 counties.
He was considered the front-runner in the 2012 Republican gubernatorial primary. Kinder ran for re-election in 2012 and was again the only Republican to win statewide and became the first lieutenant governor to be elected to a third term in Missouri since 1940. In July 2015, Kinder announced his entry into the 2016 gubernatorial election; he was later defeated in the Republican primary by Eric Greitens.
Kinder was born and raised in Cape Girardeau, the son of pediatrician James A. Kinder, Jr. and Mary Frances Hunter Kinder. He attended Cape Girardeau Public Schools and then went on to Southeast Missouri State University and the University of Missouri in Columbia. In 1979, he graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, and was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 1980.
Political Career of Peter Kinder
In 1972, after high school, Kinder worked for former U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth’s re-election bid for Missouri attorney general. Upon graduating from law school at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, Kinder managed Bill Emerson’s successful 1980 campaign for U.S. Congress. Notably, it was the first time a Republican won in southeast Missouri for U.S. Congress since 1928.
After law school, Kinder served as a member of the late U.S. Representative Bill Emerson’s staff in Washington, D.C., from 1980 to 1983. He returned to Missouri and worked as an attorney and real estate specialist for hotel magnate Charles Drury of Drury Industries. In 1987 Kinder became associate publisher of the Southeast Missourian newspaper, contributing weekly columns and editorials.
In 1992, Kinder made his first bid for public office by defeating former Missouri First Lady and gubernatorial candidate Betty C. Hearnes for a seat in the Missouri State Senate representing Cape Girardeau and surrounding counties. Kinder was re-elected to the State Senate in 1996 and 2000. After the Republicans gained a majority in the Missouri Senate for the first time in over 50 years, following a round of special elections in February 2001, Kinder was voted president pro tempore, the topmost position in the Missouri Senate. Kinder was the first Republican president pro tempore in the Missouri Senate in 53 years. In 2004 he ran for and won the election as lieutenant governor, defeating Bekki.
In August 2017, President Trump appointed Kinder as a co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority, a federal economic development board serving over 250 counties and parishes in eight states.