Kenny Hulshof

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Kenny Hulshof
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 9th district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2009
Preceded byHarold Volkmer
Succeeded byBlaine Luetkemeyer
Personal details
Born (1958-05-22) May 22, 1958 (age 65)
Sikeston, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseRenee Hulshof
EducationUniversity of Missouri, Columbia (BS)
University of Mississippi (JD)

Kenny Charles Hulshof[1] (/ˈhʌlsɒf/; born May 22, 1958) is an American politician and lawyer who represented Missouri's 9th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. He was the unsuccessful nominee of the Republican Party for Governor of Missouri in the 2008 election.


Hulshof was born in Sikeston, Missouri, the only child of a wealthy farmer, and is of Dutch, German, and Irish descent.[2] Hulshof attended the University of Missouri and earned his J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law. Prior to serving in Congress, Hulshof worked in the public defender's office and as a special prosecutor for the Missouri attorney general's office. As a special prosecutor, Hulshof was detailed to capital cases. In 1992, Hulshof sought to be nominated by the Boone County Republican Committee as a replacement for Prosecuting Attorney Joe Moseley, who had won election to a legislative seat and had to resign to take his new post. Hulshof was defeated by Kevin Crane. In 1994, the Ninth District Republican Committee selected Hulshof to replace University of Missouri political science professor Rick Hardy as GOP candidate for Congress.

Despite a late start in the race, Hulshof captured 45% of the vote and nearly beat nine-term incumbent Democrat Harold Volkmer. The district had historically had a character similar to Yellow Dog Democrat districts in the South, but Volkmer was thought to be vulnerable after Hardy nearly unseated Volkmer in 1992 even as Bill Clinton easily carried the state.

Hulshof immediately began preparing to challenge Volkmer again in 1996. Hulshof had to first win the Republican primary against Harry Eggleston. Hulshof won the primary by 168 out of 38,000 votes cast. During the general election, Volkmer attacked Hulshof as being a puppet of Newt Gingrich; Hulshof responded that Volkmer voted twenty times to raise taxes in twenty years. Hulshof won the election by a 49%–47% margin, becoming only the third Republican to win it since 1893. He would never face another contest anywhere near that close, and was reelected five more times, never dropping below 59 percent of the vote. Hulshof made known his desire to run for Governor of Missouri in 2004, but withdrew in favor of then-Secretary of State Matt Blunt, who won.

Hulshof's voting record in the House was conservative. Among other issues, he voted against abortion and same-sex marriage, while supporting the death penalty and the Patriot Act.[3]

Hulshof is Roman Catholic, and is active in the St. Thomas More Newman Center on the campus of his alma mater, the University of Missouri. In 2005, Hulshof joined the all-Congressional band the Second Amendments, to play for U.S. troops stationed overseas during the period between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Hulshof played the drums.

There had been rumors in Washington and back in Hulshof's district in Missouri that he might leave Congress to become the University of Missouri System president.[4] Hulshof confirmed the rumors after his candidacy became common knowledge. However, the university's board of curators ended up voting to offer the position to another graduate, who declined the offer. The Board selected Gary D. Forsee for the President of the University of Missouri System in 2008.

When Governor Blunt announced he would not be seeking re-election in 2008, Hulshof announced on January 29 that he would run for governor. Hulshof defeated State Treasurer Sarah Steelman in the Missouri Republican Gubernatorial primary, held on August 5, 2008, winning with a margin of 49% to 45%, with Scott Long receiving 5% and Jen Seivers 1%. Hulshof was defeated by four term Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, the Democratic Nominee, in the General Election held on November 4, 2008.[5]

Hulshof now works as a lobbyist for Kit Bond Strategies, based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Court cases[edit]

A 2008 Associated Press investigation found five cases where Hulshof was accused of prosecutorial misconduct, primarily withholding exculpatory evidence. At least two cases in which Hulshof served as prosecuting attorney have been overturned on judicial review and one case in which the judge set aside the conviction.

In the first case Hulshof prosecuted Joshua Keezer for murder. He tried the case without physical evidence, DNA, fingerprints, a murder weapon, or any eyewitnesses.[6] Keezee was convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison.[citation needed] Kezer was set free after a Cole County Circuit judge overturned the conviction. Hulshof publicly stated that he remained convinced of Keezer’s guilt.[6]

The second case, overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court in January, 2013, involved the 1990 murder of a Livingston County woman in her home near Chillicothe.[7] Mark Woodworth of Chillicothe, then 16 years old, was convicted in the shooting death of 40-year-old Cathy Robertson as well as the wounding of her husband. Hulshof, at the time an assistant Missouri Attorney General, was brought in as a special prosecutor in the original trial.[8] On June 4, 2011, Hulshof was questioned regarding evidence in the Woodworth case.[8] A special master determined that a series of letters written between the original trial judge and various prosecutors was not offered to Woodworth's defense attorneys.[7] The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that there was a violation of the Brady v. Maryland evidence rules and overturned the conviction.[9] In spite of obvious prosecutorial misconduct by Hulshof in both cases, the Missouri Bar did not publicly admonish or punish him for his conduct.

Committee assignments[edit]

Electoral history[edit]


Missouri 9th Congressional District Election, 1996[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Kenny Hulshof 123,580 49.4%
Democratic Harold Volkmer (Incumbent) 117,685 47.0%
Libertarian Mitchell Moore 7,140 2.9%
Natural Law Douglas Rexford 1,825 0.7%
Total votes 188,305 100%
Majority 46,087 24.4%
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


Missouri 9th Congressional District Election, 1998[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Kenny Hulshof (Incumbent) 117,196 62.2%
Democratic Linda Vogt 66,861 35.5%
Libertarian Robert Hoffman 4,248 2.3%
Total votes 188,305 100%
Majority 46,087 24.4%
Republican hold Swing


Missouri 9th Congressional District Election, 2000[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Kenny C. Hulshof (Incumbent) 172,787 59.3%
Democratic Steven R. Carroll 111,662 38.3%
Libertarian Robert Hoffman 3,608 1.2%
Green Devin M. Scherubel 2,388 0.8%
Reform Steven D. Dotson 1,165 0.4%
Total votes 291,610 100%
Majority 53,964 18.6%
Republican hold Swing


Missouri 9th Congressional District Election, 2002[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Kenny C. Hulshof (Incumbent) 146,032 68.2%
Democratic Donald M. Deichman 61,126 28.5%
Green Keith Brekhus 4,262 2.0%
Libertarian John Mruzik 2,705 1.3%
Total votes 214,125 100%
Majority 77,939 36.4%
Republican hold Swing


Missouri 9th Congressional District Election, 2004[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Kenny C. Hulshof (Incumbent) 193,429 64.6%
Democratic Linda Jacobsen 101,343 33.8%
Libertarian Tamara A. Millay 3,228 1.1%
Constitution Chris Earl 1,447 0.5%
Total votes 299,447 100%
Majority 87,411 29.2%
Republican hold Swing


Missouri 9th Congressional District Election, 2006[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Kenny C. Hulshof (Incumbent) 149,114 61.4%
Democratic Duane N. Burghard 87,145 35.9%
Libertarian Steve R. Headrick 3,925 1.6%
Progressive Bill Hastings 2,487 1.0%
Total votes 242,671 100%
Majority 55,557 22.9%
Republican hold Swing


2008 Missouri Governor general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jay Nixon 1,680,611 58.4 +10.6
Republican Kenny Hulshof 1,136,364 39.5 -11.3
Libertarian Andrew Finkenstadt 31,850 1.1 +0.2
Constitution Gregory Thompson 28,941 1.0 +0.6
write-ins 12 0.0
Majority 544,247
Turnout 2,877,778
Democratic gain from Republican Swing


  1. ^ Congressional Staff Directory. 2006. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  2. ^[user-generated source]
  3. ^ Kenny Hulshof voting record,; accessed December 13, 2013.
  4. ^ "Hulshof going back to school" Archived 2007-05-20 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed December 13, 2013.
  5. ^ Profile,; accessed December 13, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Missouri murder conviction overturned". United Press International, Inc. February 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
  7. ^ a b Rizzo, Tony (8 January 2013). "Missouri Supreme Court overturns Mark Woodworth's conviction in 1990 slaying outside Chillicothe". The Kansas City Star via company website. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Hulshof testifies as hearing wraps up in man's request for new trial". Columbia Tribune website. 4 June 2011. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  9. ^ "State ex rel. Woodworth v. Denney, SC 91021, Mo. Supreme Court". Missouri Supreme Court. January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  10. ^ 1996 Election Results
  11. ^ 1998 Election Results
  12. ^ 2000 Election Results
  13. ^ 2002 Election Results
  14. ^ 2004 Election Results
  15. ^ 2006 Election Results

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Governor of Missouri
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative