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The Political Life - from campaigns to capitols and everywhere in between. A show about the people whose lives are immersed in the political world, and how they got there. Politicians, lobbyists, pollsters, and business people. If they're on the show, they're living the political life.

Hosted by Jim O'Brien, The Political Life introduces you to the personalities and "day in the life" experiences of some of the most interesting and dynamic individuals in the field. 

Mar 2, 2020

Today we sit down with Hunter Bates, a Partner and Co-Chair of the Public Law & Policy Group at Akin Gump. Hunter has an impressive résumé. He started his career working for Senator Mitch McConnell and came close to becoming one of the youngest Lieutenant Governors in Kentucky history. Hunter talks to us about his career and gives advice for those looking to get their start in politics.

Akin Gump is one of the world’s largest law firms with 20 locations and over 900 lawyers. Leaders in public policy and government relations, Akin Gump is frequently a recipient of industry recognition for its strength in litigation and high-stakes appellate work, leadership, and depth in public policy.

  • Hunter received his B.A. from Eastern Kentucky University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
  • While at Eastern Kentucky, Hunter took summer internships with Senator Mitch McConnell working on his senatorial campaign.
  • After finishing law school, Hunter worked briefly as a clerk for the 6th Circuit of Appeals in Kentucky and then a large law firm in D.C.
  • Following his time in big law, Hunter went back to working for Senator McConnell, holding various positions.
  • In 2002 Hunter headed back to Kentucky to run Senator McConnell’s successful reelection campaign.
  • In 2003, then-Kentucky Congressman Ernie Fletcher was running for governor and tapped Bates to be his running mate. 
  • A successful lawsuit challenging Bates’ residency status derailed his chance to participate in the GOP primary that year.
  • Following the lawsuit, Hunter moved on to the private sector, where he continues to work today. 

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