Six candidates are vying for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor on Aug. 6, 2024. Top row, from left, Holly Thompson Rehder, David Wasinger and Paul Berry III. Bottom row, from left, Lincoln Hough, Tim Baker and Matthew Porter. (Photos by Jym Wilson, Shannon Cay and provided by candidates)

To read this story, please sign in with your email address and password.

You've read all your free stories this month. Subscribe now and unlock unlimited access to our stories, exclusive subscriber content, additional newsletters, invitations to special events, and more.


Six Republicans, including two state senators, a lawyer, a county clerk and two businessmen, offer differing brands of conservatism in their party's primary for lieutenant governor.

On Aug. 6, voters across Missouri will decide between Tim Baker, Paul Berry III, Lincoln Hough, Matthew Porter, Holly Thompson Rehder and David Wasinger to receive their party’s nomination for lieutenant governor.

Current Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe is running for governor.

While each candidate claims a conservative platform, their priorities and positions vary, some more starkly than others.

Elected separately from the governor, lieutenant governors serve as the president of the state Senate, voting in the event of a tie, and assume the role of governor when necessary.

The lieutenant governor also serves as Missouri’s official senior and veterans advocate, and sits on the Tourism Commission, the Missouri Development Finance Board and the Missouri Community Service Commission, in addition to other duties outlined in state statutes.

The winner of the Aug. 6 primary goes on to the general election Nov. 5. State Rep. Richard Brown and Anastasia Syes are vying for the Democratic nod, with Ken Iverson running as a Libertarian.

Here is an introduction to the six Republican candidates:

Lincoln Hough

With a bachelor’s degree in political science from Missouri State University, Lincoln Hough has served in numerous public service roles. Hough has served three terms in the Missouri House, and two years on the Greene County Commission. He is in the second year of his second and final four-year term in the upper chamber of the General Assembly, representing Senate District 30, which primarily encompasses Springfield. He also owns and operates a cattle ranch in Greene County.

Hough, who has served as the chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee for the past two legislative sessions, said he “wasn’t really planning” on running for lieutenant governor, but entered the race out of concern with the federal government, specifically pointing to the “disaster” at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“What led me to do this is the acknowledgement that if we don't have people at the state level taking care of things — we cannot depend on the federal government, obviously to do them — so we need responsible, rational people at the state level,” Hough said.

Missouri State Sen. Lincoln Hough speaks at a bill signing at Springfield Fire Station #13, the city's newest fire station, on Thursday, July 27, 2023. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

In recent years, Missouri Republicans have sought to amend the initiative petition process by increasing the threshold to pass constitutional amendments, which currently require a simple majority statewide.

Those efforts, fueled by a campaign to put abortion on the ballot, once again died in the legislature after Democrats filibustered for 50 hours to block the measure from a final vote. The bill, via ballot measure, would have required a majority vote in five of Missouri’s eight congressional districts for future amendments to pass.

Hough, who has supported efforts to make it harder to amend the Missouri Constitution, partly blamed the House’s inclusion of “ballot candy” into the bill, which refers to unrelated provisions designed to win over uncertain voters.

“The legislature is supposed to be about working through issues, not ‘It's my way or the highway,’” Hough said. “So when we got into this last year with IP reform, I mean, we passed it out of the chamber fairly early in the session, the House loaded a bunch of what everyone, including the bill sponsor will admit, is ballot candy … and we couldn't get that done in our chamber.”

While opposed to the expected Nov. 5 ballot measure that would legalize abortion up to the point of fetal viability, Hough, touting his support of pro-life legislation, said he is prepared to accept the vote, no matter the outcome.

“If the majority of the state decides one way or the other, I may disagree with it, but I respect the will of the voters,” Hough said.

On tourism, Hough, who serves alongside Lt. Gov. Kehoe on Missouri Tourism Commission, wants to see the state lean into the golfing industry and played up the impact the 2026 FIFA World Cup will have not only on Kansas City, but the entire state.

Sen. Lincoln Hough (center) speaks with Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe (right) at Greene County Lincoln Day on March 9, 2024. (Photo by Jack McGee)

“This is a huge undertaking,” Hough said. “It’s Missouri on a worldwide stage, and I don't think anyone has any idea what the international tourism associated with something like that long term could be.”

Pointing to recent investments in Missouri’s Area Agencies on Aging and state veterans’ homes, Hough said he has already been doing some of the “advocacy portions of the lieutenant governor’s job.”

Hough currently leads the field in fundraising, with over $377,000 on hand as of April 15. His joint fundraising committee, LincolnPAC, reported over $1.2 million on hand on its latest campaign finance filing.

Quarterly campaign finance reports are due on July 15.

David Wasinger

Referring to himself as a “pro-Trump, conservative outsider,” David Wasinger said he would use the office of lieutenant governor as a “bully pulpit to call out the lobbyists and special interest deals that are taking place” in Jefferson City.

Touting his experience taking on JP Morgan Chase and Countrywide Financial following the fallout of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, Wasinger feels he is well positioned to do just that.

Wasinger majored in accounting at the University of Missouri before getting his law degree from Vanderbilt University. A native of Hannibal, he now lives in the St. Louis area, where he works as an attorney at Wasinger Daming, LC.

A certified public accountant, Wasinger unsuccessfully ran for state auditor in 2018. His wife, Colleen, served on the St. Louis County Council for 12 years.

Disappointed in the General Assembly’s inability to pass legislation making it harder to amend the constitution, Wasinger fears a majority of Missouri voters will vote to legalize abortion, and that “left-wing billionaires” will try to “take away our Second Amendment rights” next year.

“I thought it was a travesty that our super majority of Republicans failed, again, to get initiative petition reform done,” Wasinger said. “What's going to happen is, there's a likelihood that we go from being a pro-life state to a abortion-on-demand state within the span of a year.”

David Wasinger, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks at the Greene County Republican Women Candidate Forum on June 27, 2024. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

Wasinger, who has been endorsed by Missouri Right to Life, plans to continue to oppose abortion access, no matter the fate of the expected ballot measure.

“If elected lieutenant governor, I would use every tool and arsenal that I have to serve as a pro-life warrior for the citizens of the state of Missouri,” Wasinger said.

Wasinger argues violent crime has had a negative effect on Missouri’s economy and tourism industry, scaring business and visitors from the state’s larger cities.

“People are scared to go to downtown St. Louis, scared to go downtown Springfield, Kansas City … we need to get this violent crime under control, so we can boost tourism and get billions of dollars in additional tourism revenue in the state of Missouri,” Wasinger said.

Recounting his recent experience shopping some of Missouri’s senior care facilities for his mom, who he said has gone through some health issues in the past year, Wasinger said the situation of Missouri’s senior living facilities was a “disaster — I mean, it borders on elder abuse.”

“So that issue hits near and dear to my heart, and I would be a strong advocate for both my mother and all other senior citizens,” Wasinger said.

Wasinger’s campaign reported over $222,000 on hand in its April quarterly report. Wasinger has since contributed $1.5 million of his own money to the campaign.

Holly Rehder

Holly Thompson Rehder, a native of Memphis and resident of Sikeston, is concluding her first term in the Missouri Senate, after terming out of the House in 2020. Rehder serves alongside Lincoln Hough on the Appropriations Committee, and as chair of the Fiscal Oversight Committee.

With a degree in mass communications from Southeast Missouri State University, Rehder co-founded a cable telecommunications contracting company, Integrity Communications, in addition to working for the Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association and Galaxy Cablevision.

State Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks at the Greene County Republican Women Candidate Forum on June 27, 2024. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

Rehder did not respond to multiple interview requests from the Hauxeda.

Rehder was supportive of the initiative petition bill approved by the Senate, and disapproved of the removal of additional provisions dubbed as “ballot candy.”

“Those that supported this change to the [bill] claim it is because this language, in some form, already exists in Missouri law,” Rehder said in a Feb. 26 legislative column. “Unfortunately, there is a legal argument to be made that the current language has loopholes and could be challenged. That is why I feel it is imperative that this language be included in order to guarantee that non-citizens and foreign governments are completely unable to influence our law making process.”

Attendees listen to state Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, at the Greene County Republican Women Candidate Forum on June 27, 2024. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

As the Senate sponsor of a bill — currently awaiting action by the governor — designed to reduce the veteran suicide rate in Missouri, which is significantly higher than the national average, Rehder aims to continue advocating for veterans as lieutenant governor.

“It's incredibly important to be a strong ombudsman for them, but really delve in there and get some of the problems fixed and provide more access, more opportunity for housing and mental health [services] for our veterans and our elderly as well,” Rehder said at a June 27 candidate forum in Springfield.

Rehder’s campaign had over $302,000 on hand as of April 15, while her joint fundraising committee, Southern Drawl PAC, reported over $264,000.

Tim Baker

After initially considering running for Congress, Tim Baker, who is serving in his second term as the Franklin County Clerk, put his name in the hat for lieutenant governor at the urging of a friend.

“I had the exact same feeling come over me as I did when somebody asked me to run for county clerk, so I thought, well, maybe this is God's way of telling me he wants me to run for this office instead of [Congress],” Baker said.

Prior to being elected to the clerk’s office in 2018, Baker unsuccessfully ran for county commissioner three times.

Franklin County Clerk Tim Baker, candidate for lieutenant governor, at the Greene County Republican Women Candidate Forum on June 27, 2024. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

“I don't shy away from that,” Baker said. “One, it’s the record, but two, I want people to know that I’m a fighter and that I can get knocked down but I’m going to get right back up.”

Baker was disappointed in the legislature’s inability to send an initiative petition bill to the governor’s desk, arguing that rural Missouri gets “left out” when the state’s population centers get behind one issue.

“Whether it's through congressional districts…or if it goes through the House districts, that's truly going to be the fairest way to get everybody in a voice that people think that they're missing out on,” Baker said. “I do think that something needs to be done and should have been done with initiative petitions.”

While he was unable to directly speak to the proposed ballot measure that would enshrine abortion access in the constitution as a county clerk, Baker emphasized that he believes life begins at conception, and he would like to see the legislature take steps, where possible, to limit abortion if voters pass the amendment.

“I think the legislature should do something to make sure that we can protect life, which they have with the heartbeat bill, but who would have thought in our lifetime marijuana would have been in our Constitution,” Baker said, referring to the initiative approved by voters to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana.

As a former small business owner and “manufacturer by heart,” Baker feels he is well positioned to run the Buy Missouri program, an economic development initiative created by the lieutenant governor’s office to promote products grown, manufactured, processed and made in the state.

Franklin County Clerk Tim Baker speaks with an attendee at the Greene County Republican Women Candidate Forum on June 27, 2024. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

While he would primarily focus on finding ways to improve, rather than add to programs offered by the lieutenant governor’s office if elected, Baker proposed an initiative that would provide existing businesses assistance to expand into vacant buildings.

“I would like to look at … how do we give a hand up instead of a handout to help these businesses expand into these vacant buildings to where they need help renovating them or tearing them down to where they can build them back up,” Baker said.

“Helping them do that, and then getting to be vital parts of our communities again, they get put back on the tax rolls, and we'll start seeing the reciprocation from that throughout the state, which will be far greater than some of the other programs that we have just constantly give money to people.”

Baker’s campaign finance committee last reported less than $6,000 on hand.

Paul Berry III

In his first bid for lieutenant governor, Paul Berry III, a perennial candidate from Maryland Heights, looks to use his relationships with mainstream Republicans and Missouri’s “Freedom Caucus” to unite the party and “pass meaningful legislation.”

“The number one [thing] we have to do is we have to get our Senate in order, and as the president of the Senate I may not have a lot of legislative power, but I can utilize my leadership skills to get both factions of the Republican Party working together,” Berry said.

Berry is a business owner in Maryland Heights, and has unsuccessfully campaigned for Congress, the Missouri House and St. Louis County Executive.

Concerned that the latest initiative petition bill — based on congressional districts — would “stymie” African American votes in St. Louis and Kansas City, Berry would prefer the legislature reconsider an approach that would require 60% of the vote for a constitutional amendment to pass.

Paul Berry III, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. (Photo provided by Paul Berry III)

“That's not a policy that I believe in, but at the same time, you know, with the abortion on the ballot, there's measures that I would probably be willing to take that I wouldn't normally take,” Berry said. “But under a general concept, the threshold should be 60%, just simply because we've utilized the constitutional initiative petition process too often to do the job of the legislative branch and the constitution should be the sidelines and the goalpost and not utilize just the pass laws.”

While open to exploring ways to decrease unwanted pregnancies, Berry said he “will do anything possible” to stop abortions in Missouri. Referring to Margaret Sanger’s support of eugenics, Berry believes abortion was originally targeted towards African Americans as a form of population control. Sanger, who established the organizations that evolved into Planned Parenthood, has been denounced and disavowed by the health care provider.

“I will take every measure possible within the letter of the law to delay, stymie or stop the practice,” Berry said.

Pointing to recent “upheaval” at the St. Louis Convention Center and Kim Gardner’s downfall as the St. Louis Circuit Attorney, Berry said the best way to boost tourism is by addressing crime, which he referred to as the “number one crisis” in Missouri.

“If you ask anybody that's heard of St. Louis the number one thing they say is that Missouri is one of the most dangerous places in America,” Berry said. “So in order to increase tourism, the number one thing we have to do is address crime.”

As Missouri’s official senior advocate in the role of lieutenant governor, Berry said he would work to ensure that the counties that have adopted the property tax freezes for senior citizens are actually implementing their programs.

Berry’s campaign finance committee last reported limited activity in January.

Matthew Porter

Matthew Porter, who lives with multiple sclerosis, has spent a lot of time in Jefferson City and Washington, D.C., advocating for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and National MS Society. Feeling his advocacy efforts were not being heard or bringing about change, Porter ran 100 miles from St. Charles to Jefferson City.

“I got politicians to listen then,” Porter said. “It shouldn’t take that. It shouldn’t take it so that it’s a media event.”

That frustration snowballed into his candidacy for lieutenant governor.

Porter, who has a degree in computer science from St. Louis University, is the founder and vice chairman of Contegix, an IT solutions and consulting firm based in St. Louis.

While acknowledging that Missouri’s initiative petition process has yielded some “wacky” changes, Porter is opposed to raising the threshold for constitutional amendments to pass.

“The voters have a right to speak, stop treating them like they’re children,” Porter said. “And that’s what we’re trying to do. This is our rule of law, this is our constitution. They have the right to move forward with it.”

Porter is prepared to respect that right for the ballot measure that would legalize abortion, despite being pro-life himself, while also emphasizing that the intent of the U.S. Supreme Court's Dobbs decision was to allow abortion to be regulated at the state level.

Matthew Porter, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. (Photo provided by Matthew Porter)

“If our state voters want to approve this, then we as public servants have the right and the responsibility to follow the rule of law, of which our voters want, even when we personally disagree with it,” Porter said.

When it comes to tourism, Porter would like to see the state invest in transportation infrastructure, namely the St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which he thinks “needs to be modernized and, in many ways, redone.”

​​”While I live in St. Louis, and that's dear to my heart because that is where my experience has been, that doesn't take away the fact that so much of our agriculture, so much of our trade comes in and out of the St. Louis Lambert Airport, and that's where our tourism comes from, in a huge way,” Porter said.

Calling to his previous experience as the president and chief technology officer of EmpowerMe Wellness, a St. Louis-based senior care provider, Porter emphasized the need to improve the level of care for Missouri’s senior population.

“We need to do a better job of allowing these systems to expand in a responsible, respectful manner because we're on the verge of our boomers hitting mass retirement, hitting peak retirement in the next eight years,” Porter said. “And we do not have the facilities today in the state to take care of them and some of that is regulation, and we need to get that resolved.”

Though he has established a campaign finance committee, and has a joint fundraising PAC, neither have filed any reports.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to provide additional information related to David Wasinger's campaign fund and Holly Thompson Rehder's joint fundraising PAC.

When, where and how to vote (click to open)

When: Missouri’s primary election will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. across the state.

Where: Find your polling location on the Secretary of State’s website or the Greene County’s Clerk’s website.

How: You must be registered to vote, and show an acceptable form of identification to receive a ballot. The deadline to register for the Aug. 6 primary election is July 10 at 5 p.m. You can register in-person at the Greene County's Clerk's Office in the Greene County Historic Courthouse, 940 N. Boonville Ave., or at any branch of the Springfield Greene County Library District. Registration is also available online. Voters can request an absentee ballot through the Greene County Clerk’s Office, or vote in-person absentee in the two weeks prior to the election.

Jack McGee

Jack McGee is the government affairs reporter at the Hauxeda. He previously covered politics and business for the Daily Citizen. He’s an MSU graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a minor political science. Reach him at or (417) 837-3663. More by Jack McGee