MEET THE CANDIDATES: 3 on ballot for state representative

Published 3:24 pm Thursday, May 17, 2018

To see the complete special section, click here: Meet the Candidates

Editor’s note: The May 22 primary ballot includes two candidates on the Republican ticket: state Rep. Donna Mayfield and local businessman Les Yates. However, Mayfield withdrew from the election earlier this month citing hostility in politics. Because she announced her withdrawal, her questionnaire has not been included.

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Pat Banks

Age: 63

Party: Democratic Party

Education: After high school, I developed my skills as a small-business owner and artist through self-study and hands-on experience.

Professional background: Owner of Pat Banks Watercolor, director of the Kentucky Riverkeeper, president of the Gallery on Main, member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, roster artist for the Kentucky Arts Council, member of the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program.

Occupation: Professional artist, small business owner, teacher, consultant

Political experience: Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet’s Kentucky River Authority Board, appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear. Campaign manager for Democratic state representative race in Madison County. Worked with county judges and councils on the Kentucky River Water Trail and Kentucky River issues. Member of Democratic Women’s Clubs of Clark and Madison county.

Civic involvement: Founding member of the Kentucky River Water Trail Alliance. Supporter of Hope’s Wings Domestic Violence Program, Liberty Place Recovery Center for Women, YMCA, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society, KET, WEKY and WUKY, Salvation Army, Hospice, Louisville Zoo, Newport Aquarium, Madison County and Clark County Chambers of Commerce and LexArts. Organizer of water clean-ups. Art workshop teacher and artist-in-residence in public schools throughout Clark and Madison counties.


Rory Houlihan

Age: 59

Party: Democrat

Education: UW Milwaukee Econ32, also studied physics, chemistry, history, World War II, Europe and Asia, Constitutional law, international law.

Professional background: Much of my life I worked multiple jobs to support my wife and children.

Occupation: CSA Lowe’s Home Improvement for 20 years

Political experience: Submitted various papers and research to legislatures which had helped pass laws and police changes.

Civic involvement: While working for Lowe’s I have been the Kid’s Captain for Lowe’s Winchester since 2001. I have been to every Public School in Clark County over the years. I have been doing Boy Scouts of America Pine Wood Derby Clinics since 2007 in which I teach principles of science and building. Lowe’s also has the Lowe’s Heroes Program in which we clean and repair. Last year, we cleaned and replaced the mulch around the College Park Playground.

Before working for Lowe’s: Planning commission to build play ground unit thanks to the Freeman Company’s generosity. Recommended Winchester use the Central Park Model to create a connective more accessible area between the new businesses on the Bypass and the downtown businesses to stabilize the downtown business area.

Treasurer for the old Early Childhood Development Center. Funded and helped build the playground unit there. Coached soccer from U8s to U14s.


Les Yates

Age: 65

Party: Republican

Education: College degree, BS

Professional background: Electrical Engineering for 12 years

Occupation: Owner, Boonesboro Supply for 17 years

Political experience: None

Civic involvement: None



What will be your top priority if elected to office?

PB: Getting the full resources we need to create strong public schools for our children and for our teachers. Every child deserves a fair and equal chance in life and access to the best education we can give them. I stand with our children, our teachers, and our public education system.

RH: My top priority will be to reverse Matt Bevin’s corporate greed waltz. He took your rights, with “Right to Work” laws, took your income by getting rid of the prevailing wage and is in the process to take folks retirements. R2W, besides going after unions, also narrows to take anti-discrimination laws.

LY: My top priority would be to represent the small businesses and the taxpayers of the 73rd District to control government spending. Our government spending is out of control. The working public is being overtaxed.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

PB: I care about our schools, our drinking water, our jobs, our health. I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, business owner, artist, riverkeeper, gardener and neighbor. I want to listen to you, work hard for you and honor the beauty of our place and our people.

RH: After 20 years at Lowe’s, I have a real good idea of how business works — who and what is important. I also have been the Lowe’s answer man. Being asked to come up with solutions to problems every day and have been doing so for a long time.

LY: I am self-employed and a working taxpayer. I have funded my primary campaign myself in order to answer only to the voters of the 73rd District. I am a business person who knows how difficult it is to earn a living wage.

What professional/political accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?

PB: I am proud of my small business. I am proud of two nonprofits I helped found, Gallery on Main and the Kentucky Riverkeeper, that serve and enrich our communities. I am honored by my appointment to the Kentucky River Authority to work on river issues and protect our drinking water.

RH: I believe I have answered this question in previous responses.

LY: I am most proud of the fact that a poor boy raised on welfare in Eastern Kentucky worked his way from poverty to getting a college degree, becoming a small business person and an asset to my community.

What is the biggest challenge our community faces? How would you address it?

PB: The struggle with addiction is touching all of our families. Opioids, street drugs, alcohol, untreated depression and other forms of mental illness are destroying lives. We need support for recovery programs, counseling, access to quality health care, law enforcement and ending the cycle of pill mills and big pharma.

RH: Understand, I can’t but help see what Matt Bevin is doing to our public education system from ECDC to college. I will be frank with you folks — Adding the charter school system is just more children for the same budget. More children is more cost.

LY: The biggest challenge is after the taxpayers pay for the cost of the elected governments and the cost of the non-elected governments, there is not enough money left to grow and develop our community. We need to cut the waste of government spending and create a work-friendly environment for small businesses.

Other comments?

PB: As representative, I will introduce and support policies that protect health, fight addiction, build up our job base, strengthen public education, honor our commitments to teachers and public workers, and develop tourism and other forms of economic development. My motto: Work hard, be kind. I look forward to serving you!

RH: I have always been honest with my customers and tried to do them right. As your representative, I plan to do the same. I have always worked to protect people. As your representative, I plan on doing the same.

LY: The backbone of this nation has always been the working taxpayers. All governments were founded on the authority of the people and instituted for their peace, safety, happiness and the protection of property. Their interests will always be at the top of my agenda.