1st District Candidate Suspends Campaign For Military Duty
Adam Cook will deploy with the Air Force Reserves to provide legal assistance to military men and veterans.
For 1st District Democratic candidate Adam Cook, service is more important to him than politics and that is one reason why he said he is running for Congress.
Although he had the option to seek a waiver from the U.S. Air Force Reserves, he decided to suspend his campaign against Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman for two weeks to serve in active duty. Cook, 34, is a major in the Air Force Reserves. He leaves on July 23 for Dover Air Force Base and will return Aug. 3.
During his active duty deployment he is not allowed to campaign. He already served about six months in Afghanistan last year as an Officer in Charge of Investigations at the Parwan detention facility. The local attorney said he will provide legal services to veterans and enlistees, helping them with wills, divorces and a gamut of other problems military men and women face while serving the country and when they return home.
"I think there are things more important than politics," he said.
This is Cook's first political campaign. He said in an interview at his family's home that he believes Congress is failing the American people. He said his six years of active duty with the Air Force Reserves provides him with strong leadership skills, which are lacking in Congress today. His Afghanistan service provided him with a new perspective on politics and Congress when he saw men and women serving this country in tough environments coming together to fight for the better good.
"At the same time, I saw Congress fighting over the debt ceiling," Cook said. "I wanted to get off the sidelines and do something. I got fed up with Congress."
Cook's wife, Melody, said she saw her husband's passion about serving the country and she was on board with him doing it even though they had just gotten married. "Service before politics is what I'm about," Melody Cook said her husband said to her when he talked to her about deployment.
"I'm very inspired by that," she said.
More than 30 people were in attendance, including Stafford County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Alane Callander, former Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chairman George Schwartz, former Stafford County Supervisor Harry Crisp and his wife, Bobby, and Jim O'Connor, the chairman of the Coles Magisterial District Democratic Committee in Prince William County. The Crisps are welcoming Cook back with a Blue Country Swing event from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18. To RSVP, leave a message at 540-300-1870 and the Crisps recommend visitors donate $30 per adult and $10 per student. Tickets also can be reserved at www.stafforddemocrats.org.
"We are not going to have as much money as Rob Wittman, but what we are going to be doing is putting together an army of volunteers," Cook said.
Schwartz said he is supporting Cook because they share the same political ideology.
"He's intelligent and he's dynamic," Schwartz said. "He will represent 100 percent the 99 percent."
Wittman is seeking his third full term in office. He won a special election in 2007 when former Rep. JoAnn Davis died of cancer.