QUILCENE — Jon Cooke, Jefferson County Republican Party chairman, has announced that he will run for Board of County Commissioners, District 3, the seat currently held by Kathleen Kler, who is not seeking re-election.
Cooke, 59, feels “a calling to help” is leading him on a new path, and he’s running “to make a difference in the community.”
“The current Board of Commissioners has voted in unison every time I have seen,” Cooke said. “If I can have that other voice, it will broaden the ideas to be considered.”
The candidate filing period for the August primary and November general election is May 14-18.
Four years ago, Cooke became involved with the Jefferson County Republicans. He has served as state committeeman and currently is chairman. He was instrumental in last November’s “No On Prop One” campaign that opposed a property tax plan for funding homeless services.
Cooke said that as county commissioner, he would focus on the economy.
“My work in local politics has really opened my eyes to the problems District 3 — and especially our graduates — has with a sluggish economy,” he said.
“Working in the county has afforded me the opportunity to know the people who work here and who to ask when I have questions.
“The biggest help I could give to get our economy moving is in basic economics. There are some hard decisions facing our county, but decisions need to be made.”
Cooke grew up on the southern Oregon Coast on his parent’s 80-acre cattle ranch. He attended Oregon State University and graduated in 1981 with a degree in agriculture. He moved to the Bremerton area in 1985 and worked as a contractor at Naval Base Keyport. Cooke returned to City University for a master’s degree in teaching and has been a substitute teacher in the Central Kitsap School District and a high school coach.
He has lived near Quilcene for a decade. He and his wife, Sherry, teach Sunday School at Calvary Community Church in Port Townsend.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-3225 or at [email protected]