Committed to Bowling Green
Patti is committed to the 20th District and to running a campaign that puts people over politics, learn more about the issues and Patti’s background and experience below.
Contribute today to help Patti bring her vision for a better Kentucky to Frankfort.
We live in difficult times that call for committed leadership. I’ve shown that commitment throughout my life, and it all started with how I was raised.
I grew up playing on my family’s east Tennessee farm, where my father still raises beef cattle and field crops. My mother was a teacher who became a homemaker, and my grandmother began her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse. Spending time at the farm with my dad and helping him with cattle taught me the value of hard work. Outside the farm, my first job as a teen was at a local Wendy’s, where I worked with folks who were struggling to just get by on minimum wage. Growing up in that small town, I saw how hard people were willing to fight to care for their loved ones, whether that meant rising before dawn to feed cattle or working long hours for little pay in a fast food restaurant. I also saw the volunteer work my mom did every day to serve her tight-knit community. She showed me that public service is not about one person – it’s about all of us.
I’m proud to be a product of public schools, from rural elementary schools and high school, to public universities, and now as an educator at a public university that creates incredible opportunities for my students. I received a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree and doctorate in History from the University of Virginia. After moving to Bowling Green over two decades ago, I started teaching History at WKU. As any teacher knows, there are few greater honors in life than being able to watch students learn and grow before your very eyes. For me, being an educator has also reinforced the importance of public service. Education is the key to preparing our children for the future, and I see that in my classrooms every day.
When I made Bowling Green home, I didn’t do it alone. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband Michael for twenty-nine years (thirty in June!). He couldn’t be more supportive of me, and I’m so lucky to have him by my side. We have one amazing son, Alex, who attends Bowling Green’s excellent public schools. Alex, among his many talents, is an academic team rock star, and I’m so proud to be his mother. Together, we love to travel, cook, host friends, enjoy concerts and musicals, and play with our adorable cats, Thor and the rescued Matilda and Felix. My family is my rock, and I’m so grateful for their support and love.
While my upbringing and education made me who I am, and my family supports me through thick and thin, my commitment to fighting for a better Kentucky has driven the causes for which I’ve fought for years. At WKU, I was the first-ever chair of the WKU University Senate from 2000 to 2001, where I was committed to ensuring that teachers had a say in the decisions that affected their classrooms.
In 2007, my colleagues elected me as Faculty Regent on the WKU Board of Regents, the highest governing body at the university, where I served for seven years. As an elected member, I worked across the aisle with people from all different walks of life; listened to the concerns of my faculty, staff, and student constituents; and did my best to share their stories with my fellow board members so we knew how our decisions would affect the campus community. I now continue to fight for my colleagues as chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee.
I’ve also shown my commitment in leading the fight for a Fairness ordinance in Bowling Green since the start of the Bowling Green Fairness movement in 2011. All people deserve basic civil rights and I’m proud to be part of the ongoing movement for equality in Bowling Green. I also serve as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Kentucky, where we fight for the constitutional rights and liberties guaranteed to us all.
When Representative Jody Richards announced his retirement after four decades of outstanding public service to the 20th District and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I decided, with the love and support of my family, to make my first run for public office to represent the community I call home. I look forward to hearing from each of you in the weeks and months ahead, and I’m excited for what the future holds. I’m not a politician. I’m not a good old boy.
I’m someone with the experience, ideas, and commitment to fight for the people of Bowling Green. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey.
Platform & Issues
Fighting for Good Paying Jobs
My father was a farmer and my mother was a schoolteacher. And they both taught me the value of good-paying jobs. Job growth in Bowling Green has been soaring, but too many new positions remain unfilled. I’ll fight to expand access to job training, community colleges, and affordable four-year degree universities. Education is vital to creating a strong workforce, which means we have to invest in education rather than cutting it. We also have to ensure that no one is working hard every day and still living in poverty. The current minimum wage is not enough on which to pay rent and other living expenses, let alone support a family. I support efforts to raise Kentucky’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour because every person deserves to be valued for their work. Finally, I oppose efforts to undermine working people by cutting support for people who have fallen on hard times and cannot find a job, or making it easier for companies to avoid paying their workers overtime pay. Investing in our middle class is the best path to economic growth, and it starts with good-paying jobs.
Fighting for Worker’s Rights
I believe in the fundamental right of workers to organize. Labor unions have strengthened Kentucky throughout its history by fighting for many of the benefits, conditions, and rules we have today that protect workers. I strongly oppose any efforts to undermine unions, including the “right to work” law adopted by Governor Bevin, which is intentionally designed to shut down unions and create a race to the bottom in Kentucky. We shouldn’t want businesses to invest in Kentucky because our workers are the cheapest. We should want them to invest here because our workers are the best-suited to do the job. I’ll fight for workers to have a seat at the table when it comes to decisions that affect their pay, conditions, benefits, and families. Kentucky workers deserve no less.
Fighting for Education
I’ve been teaching for over two decades, and there are few greater honors than watching your students learn and grow before your eyes. I’m also a proud product of public schools. Sadly, public education has been under relentless attack in Kentucky over the last few years. I believe we need more funding for all levels of education, from elementary to middle and high schools as well as higher education, and I will oppose budgets that cut important funding from our schools and universities. More education funding means smaller class sizes and more educational resources and opportunities for teachers and students. I support fair pay and benefits for teachers as well as their right to collective bargaining. I oppose charter schools and any other attempt to privatize public education and turn it into a for-profit endeavor. And I believe higher education should be more affordable and accessible. While serving on the Board of Regents at WKU, I saw how vital the university was to Bowling Green and students from across the region. When we cut funding to higher education, we push tuition higher and discard jobs and opportunities. Education at all levels should be funded, prioritized, and valued.
Fighting for Safe, Affordable Homes
Everyone deserves a safe, affordable home in which to live. I’ve lived in mine for two decades, and it’s a place of countless warm memories. But for many people, especially those who rent their homes, safe and affordable housing can sometimes be out of reach. Over 1.2 million Kentuckians – nearly a quarter of our population – lack access to affordable housing. We need laws to strengthen landlord-renter agreements and reduce the risk of exploitation for those who rent their homes. We should also work with federal and local officials, as well as non-profit groups, to increase the number of affordable housing units across Kentucky. Everyone deserves a safe, affordable home in which to live. It’s the right thing to do, and it makes our communities stronger.
Fighting for Safe, Steady Retirement
Long ago, Kentucky made a promise to its state employees: if you work hard, you’ll be able to retire with a guaranteed pension. Governor Bevin and his allies are now trying to break that promise. I’ve been a state employee for 24 years, teaching history to students at Western Kentucky University. Like so many other state workers, I’ve counted on my pension being there to support my family when I retire, and I’m furious that a promise made to us is now under attack. I strongly oppose any efforts to take away from state workers the pensions they’ve earned. We need to fully fund our pensions, and we can do so with tax reform that eliminates unnecessary loopholes and collects more revenue without burdening middle class and working class families. A pension is a promise, and I proudly stand with my fellow teachers and thousands of other state employees across Kentucky who want that promise kept. Every Kentuckian should be able to retire with dignity, and I will fight hard to make sure that happens.
Fighting for a Smart Approach to Crime
One of the key roles of government is ensuring that our justice system protects our communities from harm, brings justice to those who do harm, and minimizes unnecessary harm in the process. I support state and local law enforcement’s efforts toward community policing strategies. I also oppose a costly approach to crime that focuses on pouring more funds into privatized and state incarceration while decreasing support for education, jobs, and services necessary for building safe communities. I believe we must be smart on crime by ensuring that police departments are well-trained in the needs of their communities, focusing on rehabilitation for non-violent offenses rather than imprisonment, and reducing the percentage of the people in our state who are incarcerated, which is one of the highest in the nation. And I strongly back the bipartisan work of the Kentucky Smart on Crime Coalition and its proposals for common sense justice reforms to improve public safety, strengthen communities, and promote cost-effective sentencing alternatives.
Fighting for Common Sense Drug Policies
Kentucky’s drug policies need to be modernized. I support current efforts to legalize medical cannabis, an initiative widely supported by many in our community, including many veterans dealing with PTSD and others living with chronic illnesses. While legalizing medical cannabis would be a positive step for Kentucky, I believe more needs to be done to combat the epidemic of substance abuse sweeping our state, including opioids, fentanyl, and meth. I support doing as much as possible to reunite families who are torn apart by this crisis. I will fight to hold big pharmaceutical companies accountable for reckless marketing and sales strategies. And I will advocate for adequate treatment for those who are addicted. We have to do more to rehabilitate those who struggle with drug addiction, and I believe our state government has an important role to play.
Fighting for Equality for All
I am absolutely committed to the values of liberty and justice for everyone in Kentucky. I am committed to pursuing racial justice, including reforming our state criminal justice system to eliminate racial disparities. In 2011, I was a founding leader of the Bowling Green Fairness movement, which continues to fight for civil rights for LGBT people in our city. I strongly support a statewide amendment to the Kentucky Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes from discrimination, and I strongly oppose any legislation that seeks to discriminate against members of the LGBT community. Finally, I believe we should welcome immigrants for the contributions they bring to Kentucky, especially here in Bowling Green, which has the largest percentage of foreign-born residents in the state. I oppose any discriminatory legislation targeting immigrant families and support protecting the hardworking people who come to our country for a better future.
Fighting for What Matters Most
The voices of Bowling Green need to be heard and I am committed to doing just that. I’ve shown that commitment throughout my life. I hope you’ll join me and let’s win this for everyday people, let’s win this for our community.
Get in Touch
Patti Minter For KY
P.O. Box 153
Bowling Green, KY 42102