David Cook is running as a Republican for one of two Arizona House seats up for election in District 8 --- which includes San Tan, Florence, Casa Grande, Globe.
The deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 4 primary election is July 6. If needed, a general election will be Nov. 3. Register to vote at Servicearizona.com or request a form from Maricopa County at 602-506-1511 (maricopa.gov) or Pinal County at 520-866-7100 (pinalcountyaz.gov).
Name: David Cook
Career and Education: Rancher, state representative
Political experience: Four years in the Arizona State House
Years as an Arizona resident: 40
Family: Amazing wife, Diana, and two great kids.
What makes you to the best candidate to represent your party in the November General Election?: I think the reason I got the most votes in the last election is because I’m just very involved in so many different issues for my district. Roads, schools, water, property rights, illegal immigration, jobs, public safety and the list goes on. I’m working with a ton of folks to make progress in all of these areas and I guess I’m doing a good job because I’ve been blessed to earn the endorsements of Sheriff Lamb; Supervisors Goodman, House, and Miller; other county officials and local officials as well. This job can be fun, but if you do it right, it’s a lot of long hours and hard work.
What are the three most important issues you will tackle if elected?: There is a lot of overlap in these areas, so I’d say: Economy/jobs/roads, education, illegal Immigration/Public Safety
What is one commendation and one point of improvement you can work on regarding public safety in the next term?: I’ve been pleased to work with Sheriff Lamb and his efforts to get our law-enforcement together with our community, especially those who feel distrust towards law enforcement, to establish greater dialogue and make sure that everyone knows we’re all in this together. Other than that I’ll make sure that anyone nuts enough to suggest we defund our police gets the message that it’s not happening here. Ever.
In response to COVID-19 budget deficits, how can the state adopt long-term structural changes to its budget in the foreseeable future?: We need a lot more data before we can conclude that we need long-term structural changes to our budget. We have a loaded “Rainy Day Fund” that was designed for emergencies just like this one, and if the economy starts to return to its prior condition over the rest of this year we may not need to make any long-term changes, just potentially a few short-term ones.
What can you do to help improve the economy and business community?: I’m just going to keep grinding and fighting to bring our tax dollars back here. I’m making progress in prying our money out of Maricopa County’s legislators up there, but I’m also making some powerful enemies doing so. That’s OK though, I don’t work for them; my people are down here. We need roads and infrastructure to keep up with our growth and I’ve made progress on that. We also need to keep selling what makes our part of the state so great if you’re an employer and I’m going to keep working to create a business-friendly environment.
What should the state’s involvement be in the public education system, especially since most of its funding comes from the state budget, and the way education will be delivered is likely to change because of the pandemic?: It is going to be interesting to see what changes. The state will remain very involved because we spend half our budget on education. While I would expect lower enrollment while some parents use online or home schooling this fall, we need to make sure that our districts get paid for any kids they are helping to educate online. More dollars to classrooms will always be a goal, I just want to see results for our money. We can’t fail to teach these kids because we’re spending the money elsewhere.
What are your plans to improve the transportation infrastructure throughout Arizona, keeping in mind that the way we get around in the future will be affected by how the pandemic plays out?: I’m already pushing for more money to boost our portion of the transportation infrastructure and, to be frank, I’m not as concerned with the highways in Yavapai County. The state owes us some roads and highways and I want them as quickly as possible. Even with an anticipated increase in telecommuting, we still need additional capacity. Try getting in and out of San Tan and you’ll see what I mean. Over the last few years we’ve been successful in transferring more than $124 million back into the Highway User Road Fund (HURF) which is helping rural counties with their road needs.