The Honorable Pete Worthington was born in Maysville, Kentucky, and lived all of his life in Ewing, in western Fleming County. He earned a BS from Morehead State University and an MS from the University of Kentucky in mechanical engineering in 1965. After graduation, he accepted a position with IBM in Lexington. He commuted more than a hundred miles daily rather than move from his beloved Ewing. He continued with IBM until he retired in 1990. Always a leader, Representative Worthington was deeply involved in his community.
In 1974, he made his first bid for public office and was elected to the Fleming County Board of Education. In 1977, Representative Worthington, although the “underdog,” sought and won the open 70th district seat in the Kentucky General Assembly representing Fleming, Mason, and Robertson counties and a portion of Rowan County. With his intellect, passion, and savvy political skills, he delivered public funding and policy victories for his district. These successes enabled him to be re-elected a remarkable 10 times without opposition.
During his 23 years as representative, he was a forceful voice for better transportation for our state with an emphasis on adequate revenues and efficient use by the Transportation Cabinet. He served as Speaker Pro Tem from 1985-92. He served on the Appropriations and Revenue, State Government and Transportation Committees. At the time of his death, he was serving as chair of the influential Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation. Perhaps Representative Worthington was proudest of his most recent legislative success. In the 2000 session, the underdog prevailed again by forcing half of the $180 million federal tobacco settlement money to be returned to tobacco-producing counties or directly to farmers. Representative Worthington served his community as a member of the Ewing Baptist Church, the Favorite Lodge F.&A.M., and has been a precinct work for the Fleming County Democrat Party. He died on October 12, 2000, and is survived by two daughters and a son, and two grandsons.