Name: John Martin “Marty” Cooke, Jr.
Political Office Sought: Brunswick County Commissioner
Residence: 80 Fairway Drive, Shallotte, North Carolina 28459Post Office Box 986, Shallotte, North Carolina 28459
Political Affiliation: Republican
Occupation: Local Business Owner, Cooke Realty, Ocean Isle BeachFormer Professor, Director of Production Technology, Palm Beach Atlantic UniversityFormer Television Producer / Executive in Charge of Production (several network productions)
Family: Very happily married for 24 years to Catherine Cooke. We have four children, Katie (18), MaryLou (15), John III (11) and AnnaBelle (9)
Military Experience: I never served in the United States Military, but I graduated from a military high school, Staunton Military Academy, and from a military college, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. I am one of the board members for Champions of Freedom, a foundation created to help those in the military, primarily those in special operations and wounded warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical. I am also a member of the Board of Trustees for the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College Foundation at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Civic & Political Experience: Member, Beach Assembly of God; United States Army Command & General Staff College Foundation Board of Trustees, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; National Rifle Association; Champions for Freedom, Board of Trustees; Hope Harbor, Board of Directors; Brunswick Senior Resources, Board of Directors; Brunswick County Health Department, Board of Directors; Brunswick County Environmental Health Board of Directors; Brunswick Catch, Board of Directors; Brunswick County Sheriff’s Academy Alumni Association; Brunswick County CERT, Assistant Chief; Keep Brunswick Beautiful, Board of Directors; North Carolina Highway 17 Association, Board of Directors; Museum of Coastal Carolina / Ingram Planetarium, Board of Directors; North Carolina Beach, Inlet & Waterway Association (2009 Member of the Year), Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce (2009 Citizen of the Year) Brunswick Beaches Consortium; North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Justice & Public Safety Steering Committee, North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Intergovernmental Steering Committee; Brunswick Literacy Council Advisory Committee; North Carolina Emergency Management Association, Brunswick County Commissioner, 2008 – Present, Former Chairman, Brunswick County Republican Party, Former Vice Chairman, North Carolina Republican Party Seventh District, Fellow, North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership, The Christian Coalition of North Carolina, (Founding Director, 1990), North Carolina Republican Party National Delegate (1988), Bonner Stiller for N.C. House, Campaign Chairman (2002)
What is the top issue in your race and how would you address it? The top issue is unemployment. I have continually worked to explore public / private opportunities, creative ways to bring businesses and industry to our area through economic development and to find ways to defer fees to get businesses back online and folks back to work.
What do you consider your best accomplishment in this office? Why? I have sought to be a voice for the folks at home. I have worked hard to be responsive to the concerns of citizens of the area and worked to bring a customer-service perspective to the position of county commissioner. I work hard seeking to be responsive by returning phone calls, answering emails and meeting with constituents seeking to bring their concerns to the table as their representative.
How do you gauge the will of the people? You must be engaged. You must show up, you must return phone calls, you need to constantly make yourself available 24/7 and recognize as a public servant your job is to represent the folks at home. In so doing I continually meet with people, I seek their input and counsel…because it’s their government. My cell phone, address and email are always available for anyone to reach me at any time…and I do get back with folks, generally the same day.