Local Kentucky state representative and WKU professor Patti Minter was awarded the “Superstar" award on behalf of the Warren County Democratic Woman’s Club for her work in the community and involvement in politics on Monday afternoon.
The award is presented to individuals who have gone above and beyond to uphold the values of the Democratic Party and contribute to the well-being of Bowling Green.
Members of the Democratic Woman’s Club took turns sharing their experiences involving Minter and why they felt Minter was deserving of the award, recalling her willingness to engage with all types of people and her unmatched level of participation.
“You helped me make history by being the first woman to win a primary for a general assembly in this county and then helping me get to Frankfort,” Minter said. “I’m mindful every day that I step on that floor or meet with anyone in my office that I do so because you have my back.”
Minter is a self-described “people power representative” whose activist efforts go back nearly 20 years starting with the Fairness Movement, a group dedicated to passing LGBTQ anti-discrimination legislation in cities state-wide.
Encouraged by her work with the movement, Minter became involved with Emerge Kentucky, an organization dedicated to training and supporting Democratic women to run for state offices.
She graduated from the program in 2015 and in 2018 decided to run for office after Jody Richards, a former Kentucky state representative, announced he would not seek reelection.
“People were excited from the minute I declared my candidacy,” Minter said. “I had over 100 people offer to volunteer within 24 hours. People were ready for someone with a community activism background who had a record for showing up and standing up for people.”
The 2018 District 20 election would end with Minter winning by a 7% margin over her Republican counterpart Ben Lawson. Minter hopes her election will inspire women who come after her to jump into the race and have their voices heard.
“Once you’ve shattered a glass ceiling, it’s a lot easier to reach,” Minter said. “For those who thought Warren County wasn’t ready to be represented by a woman, obviously we’ve proven them wrong.”
Minter’s list of accomplishments and duties include being the first female representative elected to Warren County, serving on the Board of Directors for both the American Society for Legal History and the American Civil Liberties Union, teaching history at WKU, serving as inaugural chair of the WKU University Senate from 2000 to 2001, and being elected faculty regent on the WKU Board of Regents from 2007 to 2014.
“This is not easy work. Anybody who stands for public office is involved in unbelievable amounts of hard work and personal sacrifice, but the people are worth it,” Minter said. “It’s humbling to be able to lift up their voices and represent them in Frankfort.”
News reporter Michael Collins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.