Raleigh, N.C. – Four-term state lawmaker Sen. Bill Cook (R-District 1) announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election in 2018. Below is a statement from Sen. Cook:
“When I first earn the right to represent the folks of Eastern North Carolina in 2011 – our state had some of the highest taxes in the Southeast, regulations were strangling our economy and teacher pay was among the lowest in the country. I am very proud that with the help of my fellow legislators – we now have the lowest taxes in the Southeast, regulation is under control and teacher pay is greatly improved,” Cook said. “I am proud of my work in promoting our oyster industry, keeping our inlets open and defending our fishermen. I am most proud of starting a new industry in North Carolina – deep water fish farming – an industry that will greatly benefit our economy.
I’ve tried to be a good servant to the people of Eastern North Carolina. However, the recent redistricting changes have prompted me to reevaluate my commitment to my family. And as much as I love the folks of Eastern North Carolina, I love my family more. I have decided to not seek another term in the State Senate. I am blessed to have a wonderful family and I need to spend more of my life with them – especially my grandchildren.”
First elected to the N.C. House of Representatives in 2010, Cook represented the 6th District, which included Beaufort County and a portion of Pitt County. In 2012, Cook was then elected to the State Senate, representing Beaufort, Hyde, Dare, Currituck, Camden, Gates, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. Cook ousted Democratic incumbents in both 2010 and 2012 elections. In fact, Cook became the first Republican ever elected to the State Senate representing Northeastern North Carolina and was re-elected in 2014 and 2016.
“Over the past six years, Bill Cook has traveled thousands of miles across all eight counties of Senate District 1, earning his reputation as one of the most engaged and responsive legislators in the General Assembly,” said Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham.) “From championing a new marine aquaculture industry to helping ensure safe access to channels along the Outer Banks, Bill has advanced important priorities for the people of his district. We’ll miss Bill’s warm, accessible and affable presence in the Senate and wish him all the best in his retirement.”
Since 2015, Cook has served as co-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Natural and Economic Resources as well as the Senate Agriculture, Natural and Economic Resources Committee. In addition to overhauling useless regulations, Cook has been a champion for family values.
Dr. Mark Creech, Executive Director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina said, “when entering the Legislative Building in Raleigh, one has to pass by a 28 foot terrazzo mosaic of the Great Seal of North Carolina. Many great persons have taken that path to a House or Senate seat in service to the people. It is painfully difficult to learn Sen. Bill Cook will no longer walk that way. His leadership will cast a long shadow for good on that Seal. His strong conservative values have always represented what is best about North Carolina.”