Yates Launching Campaign to Unseat Hawkins

David Yates has the ideal pedigree to knock off Doug Hawkins in the 2010 Metro Council race in District 25.

Yates’ grandfather, James B. Yates Sr., served 22 years in the Kentucky General Assembly, often taking his grandson with him to campaign stops, government meetings and trips to Frankfort. The younger Yates, 29, is an attorney. Graduated from Holy Cross High School, U of L and law school at NKU. He was political even in college, winning the presidency of U of L’ s College Democrats.

He married his high school sweetheart and has a three-year-old child. He’s active in his church, and has volunteered as an instructor in that Dave Ramsey course. He addresses people he doesn’t know on the phone with a respectful “Sir.”

He’s done plenty of other resume-building in Valley Station, and he’s launching his campaign next weekend at the Carpenters Union Hall on Dixie Highway. Just this week, he opened his own private law practice. He was previously the in-house lawyer for the local UAW, which he said he’s retaining as his first client.

Of course, I couldn’t get him to say anything negative about his opponent, Doug Hawkins. Yates’ downfall could be that he’s exceptionally polite. Except he did tell me he wasn’t a supporter of the whole guns-in-church idea, which Hawkins has supported to the point of doing one of his increasingly frequent YouTube interviews with the pastor and getting his name in the New York Times.

Hawkins has won two elections for Metro Council, neither by a substantial margin. He lost a race against Perry Clark last fall for State Senate. He holds the Council record for being on the short end of 25-1 votes, including every budget bill. His attempts to block a bomb shelter from being put in his district, in retrospect, seems pretty silly. If Yates chooses to attack Hawkins on the campaign trail, he’ll have plenty of ammunition.

Hawkins knows how to get his name in the media, and how to use technology to get attention. Some would say he can stir up a crowd. The question in 2010 will be whether all that publicity will be a positive in the minds of voters who, for the first time, will have a real choice.

22 thoughts on “Yates Launching Campaign to Unseat Hawkins

  1. It will be nice to get someone in office that doesn’t take credit for everything good that happens anywhere and everywhere within the city of Louisville. I’m really tired of hearing Hawkins name come up… he is taking any publicity he can get because he is desperate. I will be so happy when he is defeated and hopefully out of the media for good. Just hearing his name makes me cringe. Good luck, David!!

  2. It will be nice to see Hawkins out of office. He is the Michelle Bachman of South Louisville.

  3. You can say what you want about Doug Hawkins but he does stand up for his district. When will Mr yates admit that Jerry should be thrown out of office with all of those lap dog democrats. Doug is pro labor and has voted for labor. Let Mr. Yates tell me Bob henderson, Vikki Welch, and Jerry are wrong about Codish, The Arena, City Center and Labor.

  4. You can say what you want about Doug Hawkins but he does stand up for his district. When will Mr yates admit that Jerry should be thrown out of office with all of those lap dog democrats. Doug is pro labor and has voted for labor. Let Mr. Yates tell me Bob henderson, Vikki Welch, and Jerry are wrong about Cordish, The Arena, City Center and Labor.

  5. Anyone care to elaborate on how Yates has helped his community or what he has done so far in it?

    Seriously I am not pro or con for Hawkins but it does seem that some people only show up for elections without ever working or being involve din change in the Districts they want to represent.

    As far as your comments Ashley? Well said indeed.

  6. I’ve known David Yates for a long time. He is a great man. He is always trying to improve the southend often one person and family at a time. He helps the areas at risk teens, teaches at South West JCC, works with the SW Dream team and has helped several southend parishes.
    Everyone who knows David Yates knows that he is running to improve the community.

  7. Want to know about David Yates look at his website. There is a link in the article or at voteyates.com

  8. This race isn’t about Jerry Abramson or any of his affiliates. This race is between David Yates and Doug Hawkins. I have known David Yates his entire life and he is one of the most hard-working and honorable young men I know. He has made his political ambition to bring the South End of Louisville up to par with the East End, and he has the credentials and diplomacy to accomplish that goal. The South End deserves the fresh ideas that David brings to this race. Mr. Hawkins seems to thrive on sensational media attention. If anyone wants to know more about David, they should visit his web site at http://www.voteyates.com.

  9. I have known David Yates for a long time. I look forward to his victory, because the South End deserves what I know he can accomplish. I know he grew up learning how to bring good things to South End as did his Grandfather for 22 years.
    Good luck, David!!

  10. Hawkins is the worst member of the Metro Council by far. His anti Hispanic campaigns are bigoted and designed to appeal to the most base instincts of his knuckle dragging constituents. Good riddance!

  11. I have known David Yates all my life. His hope and ambition is exactly what we need in the South End ! He is an honest hard working family man who wants to bring dignity back to the South End and I am all for that! For those naysayers I say you take time to find out who Davis Yates is before you make any judgements.

  12. David Yates possesses the required drive and dedication that ultimately will bring communities together as one. David comes from a good family that has instilled excellent moral values and defining traits that it takes to become councilman. I look forward to a banner year in 2010 and all of the positive press that will follow once David lands on his feet in office. David was born to succeed and will always set his goals high and not defer until he reaches them.

  13. The South End of Louisville needs a change. Hawkins is a South End version of Rev Coleman. He gains is power and popularity by victimizing the residents of the South End so he can save them from the various powers that have conspired against them.

    Like Coleman, Hawkins gains nothing by empowering his constituency to improve their lives. In the same way Coleman was drawn to TV camera like a moth to fire, Hawkins never misses an opportunity to remind his constituents that he is protecting them.

    What the area needs is a person who leads the community to improve themselves and take command of their community again.

  14. Doug Hawkins does not stand up for his district. Doug Hawkins stands up for himself. What is perceived as “standing up for his district”is really Doug grand-standing by using his district to direct attention to himself. It’s a subtle, but big, difference

  15. I address this issue as a new father in Southwest Louisville who cares a great deal about the community in which my son will grow up. Some of you are right. We do not need a puppet of the mayor, or of any official for that matter. However, we need a leader that has the ability to inspire the mayor and the council to listen to our voice.
    Mr. Hawkins has spent the last six years using his position as an outlet for angry rants. This tactic of leadership has led the rest of the governing body to shut its ears to our district. Mr. Hawkins’ sour attitude has become an obstacle towards any progress in our neighborhood. A quality councilman would lead- not point and blame- and inspire others to follow his progressive policies.
    Mr. Hawkins gains his recognition by fighting irrelevant battles without any clear victors. He ends almost every speech with “I’m pro-Gun, pro-God, and pro-Life.” Yet, what significant legislation has he passed that pertains to this? I ensure you will hear this in his campaigning. He may also blast his opponent for being a Godless liberal democrat. What does this have directly to do with the metro ordinances, zoning, and industry on which a good councilman should be focusing? What does a lot of talk do for you, me, and my son’s future in this neighborhood?
    If you look at the alternative, Mr. Yates is an aspiring community leader that keeps his faith as the foundation of his family, actions and service. He is an attorney who teaches Bible school and volunteers at The Salvation Army homeless shelter. This means we have the opportunity to elect a man skilled in law AND remains committed to his values. He conveys these values in action, such as working with The Lifehouse, a non-profit that gives pregnant teens an alternative to abortion. Not to mention, Mr. Yates is a gun-owner who believes firearms should be kept in the possession of law-abiding men and women.
    Politics aside, whether you are Democrat, Republican, or Independent: If you live in District 25, you live in a district that is being left behind because of Mr. Hawkins’ inadequate performance in office. To all my South End neighbors- wouldn’t be great to have a councilman- OUR councilman- that took a leadership role in Louisville, not simply a lone antagonist that makes much noise and very little progress? It is evident that Mr. Hawkins has two good legs but has not learned to walk forward. Southwest Louisville NEEDS to walk forward.
    I really believe in this new candidate. I believe that we have an opportunity to elect a leader that would listen more and rant less. Mr. Yates could actually get the hard-working people of this neighborhood the recognition and respect they deserve.
    I hope to see you July 11th, 3:00 PM at the Carpenters Union Hall on Dixie Highway. This is Mr. Yates campaign kickoff. This could be the day we say we are ready to walk forward.

  16. I’m glad to see that this Yates character is staying on top of blogs that mention his name. Sad thing is, it’s obvious that he called up just about everyone of his friends to post a reply on this post.

    Let me throw what I have to say into this conversation, not that it’ll be read lightly.

    Matthew, you stated this in your post, “He ends almost every speech with “I’m pro-Gun, pro-God, and pro-Life.” Yet, what significant legislation has he passed that pertains to this? I ensure you will hear this in his campaigning. He may also blast his opponent for being a Godless liberal democrat. What does this have directly to do with the metro ordinances, zoning, and industry on which a good councilman should be focusing?”

    But yet on VoteYates.com, it states this, “David is an active member of St. Lawrence Parish and teaches vacation bible school at St. Paul.”

    So tell me Matthew, what does being an active member of St. Lawrence Parish have to do with passing legislation, ordinances, zoning, etc with the Metro Council? So what if he teaches Vacation Bible School? Is that something special when it comes to passing these things? Dont think so.

    Lets move on, Sarah L. Wagner, this was said in your post: “He has made his political ambition to bring the South End of Louisville up to par with the East End.” Hmmm, sounds alot like Doug Hawkins does it not? Considering Hawkins entire candidacy to start with was based off of that line.

    I hate to be the one person who busts the pro-Yates bubble, but despite how hard this guy campaigns, Hawkins will still pull this one out. The only way that I can see Yates winning this seat, is if Jerry runs with Beshear and Hawkins guns for the Mayors’ seat.

  17. Yates may be a good guy I don’t know. I do know this. I have visited his website a number of times and still seeking where he stands on issues that he will directly be involved in on the Metro Council.

    I have yet to see any.

    The website reads like a biography of his life and does not mention one thing he is for or against.

    Working against abortion while a worthy goal has absolutely nothing to do with the Metro Council. It is decided outside their realm of power.

    In fact making this a key talking point is a red flag to me as many know there is absolutely nothing he can do about it from the Council seat anyway.

    It is one of the single most divisive issues that people who want to get elected use to divide us. So much for trying to be non partisan.

    What will he do to raise the standards in the South End? While he is being pushed by some Dem clubs, and the SW Dream Team, essentially he has not told us anything at all.

    Would he vote for or against a smoking ban and why?

    How would he have voted on the latest budget and why?

    His votes will affect all of Louisville so what would he do to help business survive in today’s market? How will he help spur economic development in the SW and the City of Louisville? What is his opinion on the arena? Or Cordish handouts? How about IPL abuse and harassment in his district?

    Most today are looking for substance.

    While I applaud Yates for allowing himself to assume this role, as we need new people who will stand up and run for office, I also do not believe we should elect anyone without knowing where they stand on issues they will be involved in.

    His religious beliefs may be important to some but will not have sway on decisions and votes he partakes in on the Council.

    We know his convictions and morals now so what about the rest? We deserve to know what he will do if elected.

    What will David Yates bring to the South End?

    While I sincerely applaud Yates attempt at office I would like to know more about where he stands on relevant issues. We cannot vote for the next handsome guy or pretty girl who comes along just because they say they do something.

    Let us know what David Yates brings to the table. Or at least where he stands.

  18. Mr. James Young:

    The point was that Mr. Hawkins uses his “pro-life, pro-God, pro-gun” stance at rally support. If voters need that in a candidate, though council matters have little do with those issues, Mr. Hawkins is not the only option for moral ground.
    Unlike Hawkins, Yates will not use his church affiliations to gain support. Unlike Hawkins, that is not the only line he has to fall back upon. Unlike Hawkins, he will not spark hatred for minorities to rally a crowd. Yates is above that.
    Yates is for reinvestment in established working neighborhoods like the South End before the East End is expanded further. Mr. Yates believes in a strong downtown development, but never at the expense of our suburban families. Yes, inner-city entertainment development should be closely monitored, but not abandoned. We do not want our children to leave Louisville after college because there is nothing to keep them here.
    Mr. Yates stands for supporting or firefighters and police officers, and will stand in front of any crowd and defend their hard work and service.
    And Mr. Young…you say Yates will have a chance only if Hawkins’ makes a run for mayor? Senator Perry Clark defeated Mr. Hawkins last fall by a landslide when your councilman tried to abandon in seat for bigger aspirations. And, you say run for mayor? He was heavily denied a seat in Frankfort by his South End peers because voters saw through his blind speech. Mr. Young, you do not give the people of this city enough credit for their reason and intelligence.

  19. Voting in another Democrat from SW Louisville isn’t going to improve the community. Sure, Doug Hawkins is an impediment to progress. They deserve better than his pompous ass out there. But somehow voting in some guy that talks nice and teaches Bible studies isn’t going to create jobs and lasting economics for the Southwest. Getting people on the Council and getting rid of this mayor will do that. One could expect that about half of the current Metro Council consists of Marxists because every time you turn around they are trying to run out every decent paying job from the community whether it be in Rubbertown, Downtown, or Jeffersontown. What they want is a bunch of coolies to do cheap labor for their inbred friends. People that lack intelligence in many cases and the only way they made any money is by paying their help 8 bucks an hour. Its easy to make money in business when you don’t have to pay competitive wages. They would rather leave Louisville as a city of low wage jobs and low wage occupations. Which explains why a good percentage of college graduates I know are having issues finding even the most basic of jobs.

    Louisville and its so called leadership both Republican and Democrat don’t get it. Their stupidity is causing the decline of this once very nice city and you can see it all around especially when you look at the conditions of neighborhoods and road repairs, etc. Voting this current gaggle of know nothings and incompetents isn’t going to improve the local economy or tax collections one bit. Just more waste, lazy bureaucrats, and inefficient government. But rejoice because we are all getting that new arena that you will pay for the next 30 years. That is until enough people finally get sick of being taxed into poverty with what little work they do have and finally move on to other locales in the USA that have job creation and real incomes.

  20. I agree with Ed in that Mr. Yates needs to tell the people exactly where he stands on the various issues. Yes, Doug is often on the losing end of 25 to 1 votes, but those include mostly votes that the people support, such as voting against the unneeded Metropolitan Sewer District rate increase, placing a munitions storage facility next to a water supply, and giving money carte-blanche to Cordish. I would take Doug and his populist stances over yet another lawyer who doesn’t let people know where he stands on the issues any day.

  21. If Yates faces no primary opponents, he has the trump card of not being Hawkins, and may well sail to victory, even if he doesn’t do much to outline his positions.

    That said, he needs to outline his positions on metro issues, as all candidates need to do this.

  22. Yates has not even had his campaign kick-off off yet! It’s set for 7/11
    I’m sure we will see some good debates on the issues over the next year and 1/2

    Jim, I agree with much of your comment but Yates is not “just another democrate”
    I am very excited

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