Peter Kinder is Missouri's current Lieutenant Governor. He was first elected in 2004 and is now in his third term. KOLR10's Grant Sloan has this profile of Peter Kinder.
While campaigning for Missouri Governor, Peter Kinder stresses the importance of conservative values like fiscal responsibility and protecting the second amendment.
But when the three-time Lieutenant Governor first arrived on the political scene, in the early 90s, he had no idea he would one day be laying out a republican platform for the state’s highest office.
"I really didn't, I didn't get in it to climb the ladder,” Kinder says.
However, the southeast Missouri native has always had a passion for politics, dating back to his childhood.
"I'd been following campaigns. I used to read, when I was in grade school, I was reading two newspapers a day,” he says. “It was long before the internet so we were dependent on print media."
The eighth-generation Missourian attended high school in Cape Girardeau and college at Southeast Missouri State and Mizzou. He received his law degree in 1979 in Texas.
Upon leaving school, Kinder spent four years as a lawyer on the development side of Drury Hotels, followed by 17-years in the newspaper business.
Then in 1992 he switched careers again, this time for a successful Missouri Senate bid.
"My dad was trained in science, he was not political at all, and neither was my mother, nor any of my brothers,” he says. “They weren't sure where I came from with the interest [in politics]"
Kinder says his father left one of the biggest impacts on his life, specifically when his father closed his medical practice, at the age of 80, to work for a county health unit.
“To take care of a poor, mostly minority population who had no one else to take care of them,” he says, “and he spent the last 3 to 4 years of his life working in that county health unit."
Another icon of the gubernatorial candidate is one many republicans point to.
"Ronald Reagan was an American icon, certainly my icon, a transformational leader,” Kinder says. “He was a guy who affirmed the very best about America, and who inspired me as a boy and as a teenager.
Kinder was a Reagan delegate in college in 1976, and to this day looks up the former President’s speeches on YouTube.
As for the internet, Kinder has watched it come of age during his political career. He recalls the first time he encountered Twitter in 2006.
"I didn't quite grasp it,” Kinder says. “We're all dependent on Twitter now and Facebook and social media, and means of communication that simply didn't exist in my first state wide campaign of 2004."
When he wants to relax, Kinder can be found with reading material in his hands or in the outdoors.
"I do enjoy fishing. I'm not much of an expert at it. I like to go with somebody who is an expert who can show me how to do it,” he says. "I love to hike Missouri'sbeautiful hills, especially near our streams.”
But for the next few months, the only trails Kinder will be hitting will be on his campaign.
"Every family member wishes you were home more often,” he says. “But this is a price you've got to be willing to pay to go out and visit with six-million Missourians. [It’s] lots of travel, a lot of long days and nights, but it's also very rewarding for all the people you meet.”