Tag Archives: Jim Cook

AD-10: Jim Cook sees circling wagons

By Randy Bayne
The Bayne of Blog

Jim CookJim Cook, in his third attempt at winning the 10th Assembly District, is beginning to realize that the third time isn't always a charm. He hasn't quite given up, but in an interview with the Stockton Record, Cook's answers to questions seemed resigned and even bitter.

Cook was asked why he is running for a third time after a bruising defeat (61% to 34%) in which votes for Cook didn't even reach the Democratic registration in the district. His answer was a stock answer from someone who sees a campaign slipping away. To “force” the agenda, “force other people who are running to hold up their end of the bargain…” He added, “I'll just do my best.”

This is a far cry from what I've heard from Cook before. Just a few weeks ago he told an audience at a forum in Sacramento that he was “in this to win.” Now he just wants to do his best. What's changed? For one, his opponent, Alyson Huber, has been picking up support and endorsements from people and groups who supported Cook in the past. One apparent sore point is the Democratic Party endorsement that Huber won last month.

Do you feel abandoned by the Democratic Party, which has endorsed Huber? “I think it's good for the party. It's obvious that I don't fit the progressive Democratic agenda: I'm more conservative than them. Some in the progressive movement wanted to move in another direction. They've gone out and circled the wagons on me.” 

I'm not sure what it is that he is saying is “good for the party.” The competition perhaps, or maybe two sides, one conservative, one progressive, pulling toward the middle. What he does admit is that he isn't where the party wants to be, and he sounds bitter saying “they've gone out and circled the wagons on me.”

Far from circling wagons, Democrats in AD-10 are looking forward. We've put our hopes on Cook twice before. This year, there is another candidate in the race that, unfortunately for Cook, is seen as having the best chance to put this district in the Democratic column. Alyson Huber

Huber summed up the feelings of voters in one of her answers that referred to Cook's loss in 2006.

“After I saw what happened in 2006” – Cook earned a lower percentage of the vote than the baseline percentage of Democrats in the 10th District – “I really felt like we needed a new candidate. It's time to try something new.”

Cook has had ample opportunity to prove himself to voters. In his first run in 2004 he was a write-in candidate. In 2006 he defeated Kevin Tate in the primary. Both years he lost in the general. If Cook sees wagons circling, they aren't circling him. The wagons are circling around Huber, preparing to carry a new candidate and a new hope for 10th AD Democrats.