Office Dates: Dec 12, 1995 - Dec 09, 2003
Born: May 26, 1937
Birth State: Kentucky
Family: Married Judi Conway; four children
School(s): University of Kentucky
PAUL E. PATTON was born in Fallsburg, Kentucky. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1959 with a degree in mechanical engineering. After 20 years in the coal business, he began his public service career as deputy secretary of transportation in 1979. He was elected judge-executive of Pike County in 1981, establishing the first countywide garbage collection program, initiating oil recycling, and establishing a work program for welfare mothers in day-care centers. He was reelected and served until 1991, when he was elected lieutenant governor and named secretary of economic development, becoming the first lieutenant governor to serve as an appointed cabinet secretary. He was elected governor in 1995 and reelected in 1999, the first governor in Kentucky elected to a second consecutive term in 200 years. Jobs, economic development, and education are his major concerns. Thousands of jobs were created in Kentucky through incentive programs authored by Patton to attract new companies and help existing businesses to expand. He is past chair of the Southern Governors' Association, the Democratic Governors' Association, and the National Governors Association. Patton was picked by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education to head a new education commission to look at the high school senior year. He has chaired the National Education Goals Panel, the Education Commission of the States, the Southern Regional Education Board, and the Southern Growth Policies Board.