JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder plans to be actively involved in the new administration of Gov. Matt Blunt, a fellow Republican.
Shortly after taking the oath of office as Missouri's 46th lieutenant governor, Kinder said his role in Blunt's administration hasn't yet been defined but that during a recent meeting the state's top two officials agreed to work as partners.
"We had a very great discussion about how we would work together advancing his legislative agenda," Kinder said. "We're clicking on all cylinders."
Kinder, who hails from Cape Girardeau, served 12 years in the Missouri Senate, including the last four as president pro tem. As lieutenant governor, Kinder will continue to work closely with the Senate as the chamber's president and presiding officer.
After barely winning the Nov. 2 election by half a percentage point over Democrat Bekki Cook, also of Cape Girardeau, Kinder said he is anxious to get down to business.
"It is hard to believe it's real," Kinder said. "It's a proud day and humbling day. I'm humbled by our responsibilities and the confidence Missourians have placed in us."
Missouri Supreme Court Judge Stephen Limbaugh, another Cape Girardeau resident, administered the oath of office to Kinder, a longtime friend. Mary Frances Kinder held a Bible opened to Psalms 37 as her son repeated the oath. The chosen psalm promises the righteous will prevail over the wicked.
Kinder is the first Republican to hold the post in 24 years and just the second since 1933.
Until Friday, Kinder had been assistant to the chairman of Rust Communications, which owns the Southeast Missourian. He is taking an unpaid leave of absence from the company while in office.