Patrick Flannery is clear and concise in his message to voters who will choose between himself and fellow Republican Rita Yates in the upcoming primary election in Carter County.
Flannery, a lifelong Carter County resident whose family has lived here for several generations, is a member of the West Carter High School Class of 1997, where he played football and was on the track team. He also played defensive end and offensive tackle for four years while studying at Georgetown College, before enrolling at Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University and graduating in 2008. He was elected to serve as County Attorney for Carter County in 2010 and served one term in that capacity.
Flannery met his wife, Keri, in 2009 and they were married in 2010.
“I was setting up my office and she was hired as a teacher at Tygart Elementary the day before school started,” he recalled, explaining they were introduced by her fellow teachers. They now have two daughters, Demi, 6, and Brynn, who was born in December.
The decision to seek the state representative’s seat was largely motivated by incumbent Kathy Hinkle’s voting record, Flannery said.
“I’ve always been interested in public service and last year several votes by the incumbent – I know were out of step. Not only with me but with the people of Carter and Lawrence County,” he said, citing Hinkle’s voting record on issues including 2nd Amendment concerns as well as Pro-Life proposals. “Her votes were inconsistent with what people here want.”
He cites “a lot of the traditional issues … pro life, pro second amendment” among his priorities as a prospective state representative.
Flannery said he feels he has a better “pulse of the community” and would be better able to serve local voters if elected.
“The reality is that the legislature has become a Republican super majority and I’m in a better position to deliver and get things done for the district,” he said, adding he’s also already familiar with the way things work in Frankfort, and has experience in numerous facets of legal practice including criminal, civil, state and local law.
“I won’t require on-the-job training. I will be in position to make sure Carter and Lawrence County get their fair share.”
Noting he comes from a family filled with educators, including his wife who still teaches 3rd Grade at Tygart Elementary, Flannery said public education is also an obvious priority.
“I want to have top-notch public schools,” he said. “I have a young family and I want them to grow up with good public schools and every opportunity to find good employment when they get older.”
“It’s also important to know I can contribute to economic development,” he said, acknowledging the area needs a long-term plan to bring jobs and prosperity. “I know that doesn’t happen overnight.”
Drug abuse and addiction are also concerns, Flannery said.
“It is still an issue and will require vigilance. We are blessed to have good treatment facilities,” he said. “It’s something we can’t ignore and I believe improvements have been made.”
Overall, Flannery said he will defend the Republican party’s values.
“The ‘other side’ really wants to take this country in another direction and is no reflection of local values,” he said, naming “The AOC’s of the world – Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Those people have lost touch with what average, normal people want.”
When he isn’t working or campaigning, Flannery said he enjoys reading historical and biographical books, assisting with his daughter’s activities including dance classes, and watching football.
“Unfortunately I’m a Bengals fan” he said with a laugh, adding “It gives you a unique level of optimism.”
Flannery will face Rita Yates of Lawrence County in the primary race for House District 96 State Representative. The primary election date is June 23, although voters can now cast absentee ballots through the Carter County Clerk of Court office.
Story by TIM PRESTON
Carter County Post
Note: Carter County Post does not endorse any political candidate and strives only to offer readers information to assist with voting decisions.