When he was still a child, Adam Cook decided he did not want to be a pastor like his father. He saw the stress of the late-night calls, the messiness of church politics and the pressure to come up with sermons.
"It wasn't my calling," Cook said. Instead, he decided to run for Congress.
Cook, 35, a Democrat, is challenging U.S.
A tall, thin man, Cook is a political newcomer. During his third year in law school in 2001 at UCLA, Cook scheduled an interview for a lucrative job as a corporate lawyer. That day was Sept. 11. He changed his plans.
"I sat there staring at the TV like we all were, stunned at those attacks," Cook said. "It was my generation's time to stand up and do something for the country."
He signed up for the
"We got mortared probably a couple of times a week," Cook said. "The alarms go off and you throw on your flak vest and you try to run to the concrete bunkers."
Cook's colleagues said he tried to build consensus before making decisions while serving as the officer-in-charge for legal counsels.
"He's one of those guys who is serious when you have to be serious," said Justin Graf, who reported to Cook during his time in Afghanistan. .
But Cook also had a lighter side, Graf said. "He's not one of those taciturn leaders who just kind of sits there with a scowl on his face — he can crack a joke." Graf said Cook helped strengthen interviews and interrogations to bolster cases presented in Afghan court.
Cook's wife, Melody, described her husband as "very much an internal processor." She frequently pokes fun at him when he'll pause walking down the staircase of their home, lost in thought as he contemplates a world issue.
The couple were introduced by Cook's younger sister, Jordan. Once, Jordan insisted Melody go to Bolling Air Force Base in
"I'm a sucker like most ladies. It worked," Melody said.
"We both kind of resisted at first," Adam Cook said.
Cook said if elected to Congress he would work to stave off looming defense cuts scheduled to go in effect at the end of the year. He said he would be open to extending the Bush-era tax cuts for a year in order to give Congress time to negotiate a deal to reduce the nation's debt. He says the legislator he most admires is U.S.
The 1st District in Virginia has been reliably Republican since now CNU president Paul S. Trible first won the seat in 1977. So far, Cook has reported raising just under $100,000 compared to $600,000 for Wittman.
Name: Adam Cook
First Congressional District