Hunter is an attorney specializing in government relations and has been involved in public policy and advocacy for many years. He is president and general counsel of The Bates Capitol Group, a public affairs/government relations firm with offices in Washington, DC and Louisville, KY.
From 1997 through 2002, Hunter served as chief legal counsel and then chief of staff to current Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. As chief counsel of the Senate Rules Committee from 1999-2000, he also advised McConnell on ethics and campaign finance issues. In addition to serving as McConnell’s top adviser and speechwriter, Hunter helped draft legislation and served as McConnell’s point person for weekly Senate leadership meetings.
In 2004, he served as statewide grassroots chairman for Bush-Cheney in Kentucky and was a delegate to the 2004 Republican National Convention. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Regents for Eastern Kentucky University. He has also served on the board of directors of First Southern Bancorp, Baptist Healthcare Systems, and the Center for Technology Enterprise, Inc. (CiTE), a nonprofit organization seeking to increase access to and use of technology throughout Kentucky (“ConnectKentucky”).
He is a 1989 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and a 1994 graduate of Harvard Law School. Hunter also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Eugene E. Siler, Jr., on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
He is married to Jennifer Chapman Bates, and they have three children, Hunter II, Anna Lane, and Miller.