"Pat has been a tireless advocate for the people of southern and eastern Kentucky, working with local leaders to assist with water and sewer projects, federal aid for natural disasters, and much more," said Rogers. "Pat has been a loyal adviser and close friend over the years and we'll certainly miss his presence on staff in the mountains. Even in his retirement, I imagine Pat will continue helping his hometown of Buckhorn, Kentucky and the surrounding areas."
Wooton's territory will be divided by Rogers' staff. Rogers' Field Representative Grayson Smith will now add Breathitt, Knott, Letcher and Perry Counties to the region he serves, while Field Representative Shannon Rickett will add Lee, Leslie and Owsley Counties.
Rogers honored Wooton upon his retirement with a Congressional Tribute in the U.S. House of Representatives, which follows:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a dedicated employee of the U.S. House of Representatives and a staunch Kentucky Republican, Mr. Dennis Patrick Wooton, upon his retirement from my Hazard district office following six years of service as my trusted Field Representative.
“Pat has been my right hand on many issues impacting constituents in the eastern half of Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District, covering 18 counties. Anytime a natural disaster occurs in our region, such as flash flooding, tornadoes and damaging mudslides, Pat immediately reaches out to local officials to offer a helping hand and evaluate the potential need for federal assistance. He has been a loyal, reliable resource in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, always offering a friendly smile, his contagious humorous attitude, and a word of encouragement.
“Before serving as Congressional staff, Pat bravely served our U.S. Army in the Vietnam War. He was awarded several medals for his valiant efforts, including the honorable Bronze Star. He is a life-time member of V.F.W. Post 7378 and D.A.V. Chapter 64. Upon returning home, Pat was a teacher, baseball coach, and basketball coach at Buckhorn High School in Perry County, Kentucky, where he also became one of the most beloved principals in the history of the institution. In 2007, he was elected to the Kentucky High School Baseball Coach Hall of Fame. Through his dedicated efforts in the county, Pat gained the respect of the people of Perry County, who elected him Sheriff 2003-2006.
“Pat has also been a dedicated advocate for conservative Republican principles and currently serves as Chairman of the Perry County Republican Party.
“Pat has a true heart of service, which is displayed by his volunteer efforts across the Kentucky River region. His long list of service includes training the Buckhorn Volunteer Fire Department, serving on the Governor’s Smart Growth Task Force, the ARH Family Health Service and Community Advisory Boards, Buckhorn City Council, the Hazard Community and Technical College Board of Directors, and many more.
"Please join me in congratulating Mr. Pat Wooton on his retirement, and in appreciation of his brave military service to this nation. My wife, Cynthia, and I wish Pat and his wife, Veda, the very best in the years to come.”