Rita Yates of Lawrence County brings a lifetime of experiences, including decades in some of the most challenging nursing jobs to be found, as she seeks the House District 96 State Representative seat in the upcoming June 23 Republican primary election in Carter and Lawrence County.
Primary voters will choose between Yates and Patrick Flannery of Carter County to determine which if them will challenge incumbent State Rep. Kathy Hinkle in November.
A Lawrence County native who was born in Louisa’s old Riverview Hospital, Yates grew up in Prichard, West Virginia and has lived in Louisa for the past 43 years. She earned her nursing degree at Ashland Community College and reported for duty as a Registered Nurse at Cabell-Huntington Hospital.
Yates recently retired from nursing after 30 years, including work in the Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department and 14 years in the Neonatal ICU. “I loved the job – I loved the babies,” she said.
Yates is the wife of Louisa business owner Tim Yates, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
This is Yates first shot at seeking an elected office, although she is no stranger to politics and the way things work in Kentucky.
“Unlike my opponent, I do not have political experience but my profession has trained me to critically think. I also have common sense that’s taken me through nearly 60 years of life. I have been involved with small business for over 20 years and I know what it means to make a payroll and be financially responsible. All those things apply to being a state representative and I know the mechanics of the government,” Yates said.
She said she decided to pursue the state representative’s job “when life issues became more defined.”
“That’s become a very passionate issue with me – anything that infringes with life, liberty and the rights we have that are God-given and from the founding fathers,” she said. “And the abortion issue. I’m passionate about protection of life … from the unborn to the elderly. I just value life.”
Yates said she’s seen infringements of second amendment and religious rights occur “at an accelerated pace” during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown, citing citizens’ “inability to attend church while stores have large crowds.”
Among her legislative concerns are “Bill Resolutions waiting to be introduced as red flag laws concerning gun control,” Yates said, adding she is an NRA member and “can represent people with second amendment concerns.”
“You’ve got to represent your constituents. I didn’t jump on the bandwagon. I just know who I would represent,” she said.
When not campaigning, Yates said she likes to spend time reading the Bible and books aimed at spiritual growth, as well as adventures on nearby Yatesville Lake.
“I entertain myself there on a jet ski,” she said with a smile, adding she and her husband also enjoy hiking and walking together.
Story by TIM PRESTON
Carter County Post