Republican Kenny Hulshof has gone from being a farmer and a small business owner to a Congressman and a contender for Missouri governor.
Raised in Bertrand, Hulshof did not have familial political ties, nor was he raised to be a politician.
"Ours was not a political family," Hulshof said in an e-mail.
But he cited his upbringing as what led him to public office.
"I understand the challenges that Missouri families face each day," he said.
Despite the lack of political exposure in his early years, Hulshof said he is able to do the job.
"Throughout this campaign I have identified our state's challenges and offered new ideas to combat them," he said. "I've offered more than 40 new ideas during this campaign."
Hulshof said his attention to detail make him the best candidate for governor.
"I have offered detailed solutions, most of which are new ideas for Missouri," Hulshof said.
Hulshof has based his campaign on the future. He has said Missourians need to focus on the future and changes in policies to improve the state.
"We must modernize our health-care system, strengthen our economy and make sure our children and students have access to a quality education," Hulshof said.
Hulshof said he would bring new ideas to the governor's office.
"I believe a fresh perspective is needed in Jefferson City," he said. "We need new ideas and a new approach to doing things, not the same old failed policies of the past."
Jeremy Hagen, the vice chairman of the Missouri College Republicans, also said this would be an asset.
"What makes him so appealing on taxes is his work in D.C., where he consistently supported tax cuts" Hagen said.
Hulshof believes his time in Washington will benefit him and other Missourians.
"I haven't been in Jefferson City for decades, as the attorney general has been." Hulshof said. "I have no old scores or axes to grind."
At this point, Hulshof said he is not focusing on the possibility that he might not be elected.
"Right now I am focused on spreading our positive message of moving Missouri forward," Hulshof stated.
Hulshof and his wife Renee have two daughters: Casey, 8, and Hanna, 5.
He owns a family farm in southeast Missouri and is active at the Newman Center Catholic Church.
Subhead: Political career
Hulshof began his career in public service working in the Cape Girardeau prosecuting attorney's office, and then joined Missouri's attorney general office in 1989.
From 1989 until 1996, Hulshof worked as a special prosecutor and tried more than 60 felony cases. A special prosecutor tries murder cases and handles sensitive or specially assigned cases.
In 1992, the Missouri Bar gave Hulshof the Lon O. Hocker Award for Trial Advocacy and the Distinguished Non-Alumnus Award from MU's School of Law in 2001.
Hulshof was elected to Congress in 1996.
In his first term, he sat on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee. In 2003, he got a seat on the House Budget Committee, which he held through 2006.
Hulshof co-authored legislation to expand Education Savings Accounts, which gave families another tool to save for their children's education. He also authored an act that established tax deferred accounts to help farmers manage risk.
Hulshof was the lead sponsor of legislation to permanently repeal the federal inheritance tax, a fight the Republican nominee for his seat has promised to continue.
"The state needs to be cutting taxes, not raising them," Hagen said.
In 2001, the House passed Hulshof's legislation to make his 2001 tax relief plan permanent.
In the 106th Congress, Hulshof co-authored an act that helps people with disabilities lead independent lives. That bill was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton.