GOP councilman's aide to run for House of Delegates Cook will seek post in District 33

November 23, 1997|By Melinda Rice | Melinda Rice,SPECIAL TO THE SUN Sun staff writer Tom Pelton contributed to this article.

She's lectured as an English teacher, scribbled as a journalist, deciphered laws as an attorney, raised two boys and served as an Anne Arundel County Councilman's assistant.

Now Karen Cook figures she's seen enough to become a politician herself.

Cook, legislative aide to Republican Councilman William C. Mulford, announced Thursday that she will run next year for the House of Delegates from District 33.

She made the announcement at a fund-raiser sponsored by County Executive John G. Gary Jr. and state Sen. Robert R. Neall at Paul's on the South River restaurant in Riva.

"I have a really broad and diverse background," said Cook, a Republican. "I think it would serve me well as a delegate."

Cook, 42, taught preschool and high school English in the late 1970s, then edited an education newsletter and worked as a technical writer before attending law school in the early 1980s. She passed the Maryland bar exam in 1986 and worked as an assistant county attorney for two years.

For the next five years, she worked for the Annapolis Trial Lawyers' Association part-time while staying home with her sons -- Joseph, 9, and Christopher, 6.

Her husband, Terry, is in charge of the military law division of the Marine Corps and is stationed at the Pentagon.

In 1993, Karen Cook went to work in a private law practice in Glen Burnie. The following year, Mulford, an Annapolis Republican, recruited her to be his legislative aide.

"She's bright, intelligent, studious and certainly knows how to work with the constituency," Mulford said last week.

As a delegate, Cook would make $29,700 -- $17,961 a year less than the $47,661 annual salary she receives as Mulford's legislative aide.

Neall said Cook's experience working with Mulford's constituents is excellent training for a future delegate and one of the key reasons he supports her.

"Any politician worth his or her salt, at the ground level concentrates on solving constituents' problems," he said.

On Thursday, she said her top priorities would include controlling growth, making neighborhoods more accessible to pedestrians, protecting the environment and improving the county's educational system.

District 33, which stretches across the center of the county from Crofton to Severna Park, is a GOP stronghold. Its state senator and two of the three delegates are Republicans.

Aides for those delegates -- Republicans Robert C. Baldwin and Janet Greenip and Democrat Marsha G. Perry -- said they plan to run for re-election.

Pub Date: 11/23/97

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