SACRAMENTO — The Morongo Basin’s current representative in
Sacramento hopes to become this area’s representative in
Washington, D.C., replacing the retiring Congressman Jerry
“I’ve made it clear if Jerry announces his retirement, I’m
going to run,” Assemblyman Paul Cook said by phone Tuesday, Jan. 10
from his Sacramento office. “We’re opening an account and getting a
campaign staff together. We're ready to go. I’m soliciting
endorsements; we've already put together quite a few of
Cook admitted he’s something of an underdog, but said he's
been down that road before. “I’m sure there are going to be a
number of candidates from the Victor Valley area,” he predicted.
“I’m confident we'll have support from the Morongo Basin. The
voters have always come through for me.”
He expects the campaign might “get a little rough.
“We’re going to give it our best shot. We may stir things up,”
the assemblyman said.
Cook was elected to the state assembly in November 2006 and
was re-elected in ‘08 and ‘10. He is not eligible to run for that
office again because of term limitations.
“I’m very passionate about veterans and advocating for
veterans’ issues,” Cook said, reiterating a long-standing platform.
“A natural target for cuts is the military and veterans.”
Spending cuts and the budget squeeze are familiar to him from
his tenure in the state government, he pointed out.
“My first priority is that I've still got a job to do here,”
Cook added. “Running for congress is secondary.”
“With Cook, what you see is what you get,” the assemblyman
said, after a pause adding, “That may not be a good thing to quote,
but it’s the truth.”