(KCPW News) Small business owner and retired two-star General Peter Cooke became the first Democrat to enter the race for Utah Governor this morning, announcing his bid against Republican incumbent Gary Herbert. In his speech at the Fort Douglas Museum on the University of Utah campus, Cooke said the common good is losing out, being shoved aside by one-party rule.
“Closed caucus, narrow political party conventions, producing results that simply do not reflect the common sense and moderation of Utahns.” He says.
Cooke says he’ll cooperate with the federal government instead of fighting it, regardless of who’s in the White House after November.
He says Utah can improve its air quality without harming the economy and better fund education, which he calls the key force in driving the economy.
“When you rank 51st and 42nd, leadership needs to be able to outline and tell Utah we’re in a crisis, and you can’t have an economic development plan without having that clearly understood.” He says.
Cooke says he doesn’t believe the state should fight for control of public lands to fund education, which several Republican lawmakers are trying to do this legislative session, but he will go to Washington to make the case that Utah’s hands are tied on the issue. Cooke also says he’ll work to defend Hill Air Force Base, which could be affected by closures. The candidate was Commanding General of the Army’s 96th Regional Readiness Command, overseeing reserve units in six states.