Assemblyman Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley), who in September said he would run for Third District San Bernardino County supervisor this year, will instead seek the Republican nomination in the newly created 8th Congressional District.
Neil Derry is the incumbent in the Third District, which includes Loma Linda, a portion of San Bernardino, Highland, Redlands, Mentone, Yucaipa, Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, Big Bear, and Barstow. Cook’s departure leaves Derry and James Ramos, Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, as the only declared candidates in the Third District race.
Cook, of Yucca Valley, currently represents the 65th Assembly District in Sacramento. He was elected to the Assembly in 2006 and will be termed out of office next year.
Cook served 26 years in the US Marine Corps, including tours of duty in Vietnam where he earned a Bronze Star for combat bravery and two Purple Hearts. He ended his military career as an infantry officer stationed at the Twentynine Palms Marine Base before going on to serve as a council member and mayor in Yucca Valley. He also taught history and political science at Copper Mountain College and public administration at Cal State San Bernardino.
One of Cook’s longtime political allies, former Yucca Valley mayor Chad Mayes, who is now the chief of staff to Second District supervisor Janice Rutherford, has signed on as Cook’s campaign manager.