Former state Rep. Brent Yonts, a Democrat, has died after a battle with COVID-19.
Yonts, who had been under special care and in the ICU for the virus the last two weeks, passed away on Friday, according to friends and family. The former state Representative was 72-years old.
The Greenville, Kentucky, Democrat was known for his colorful sports jackets and in-depth policy positions. He served in the Kentucky House from 1997 until his defeat during the GOP wave of 2016.
Yonts was especially vocal on reforms to Kentucky’s pension system while he was in office. He was the former chairman of the Labor and Economic Development Committee and the Government Contract Review Committee.
Early news reports indicate Yonts was fully vaccinated.
“Today the commonwealth mourns the loss of Brent Yonts, a leader who worked to better the lives of Kentuckians across the commonwealth,” wrote Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, on Twitter. “Britainy and I extend our deepest sympathies to Jan and the entire Yonts family as we hold them close in prayer during this difficult time.”
“We mourn the passing of Brent Yonts, our great friend and former caucus colleague, and pray for his family and those close to him. Brent served his House district and all of Kentucky with distinction for two decades, establishing a long record of accomplishments that will benefit the commonwealth for many years to come. He also did a phenomenal job chairing the House State Government Committee, where he helped guide several critical laws strengthening our public retirement systems.
“On a more personal level, those of us who knew him will never forget his warmth and kindness, his commitment to making Kentucky an even better place to live, and of course his colorful jackets and a legislative office that was as much a museum as it was a place to work.
“On his behalf, we urge eligible Kentuckians to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they have not yet and to take whatever other steps are necessary to put this terrible pandemic behind us. The virus has taken so much from so many, and the breakthrough case of Brent, who was vaccinated, is another tragic example of that.” – House Democratic Leaders Joni Jenkins, Derrick Graham and Angie Hatton