Birthdate: May 24, 1961
Birth Place: Augusta, GA, United States
Residence: Gainesville, GA
Jody Cooley was born in Augusta, Ga., and currently resides in Gainesville. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration and a law degree from the University of Georgia.
Cooley is a partner at Hulsey, Oliver & Mahar, LLP. He primarily practices business law. He is the former president of the Gainesville Northeastern Bar Association.
He has served on the Gainesville City School Board and the city's Parks and Recreation Board.
Cooley and his wife, Lora, have two daughters.
Jody Cooley, a Democrat, is running in Georgia's redrawn 9th Congressional District, a north Georgia district that leans heavily Republican. He faces Republican Doug Collins, a member of the Georgia state House, in the November 2012 general election.
Cooley said that he is approaching $50,000 in campaign donations to mount his campaign.
"I'm a real underdog and haven't run before, but I've been excited by that fundraising effort," he said.
Cooley has called for trimming federal spending. He broadly supports the debt-reduction plan proposed in 2010 by a commission headed by Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson. If elected, Cooley said he would work to trim the deficit by getting rid of some tax deductions. However, he said he would lobby hardest to keep the tax deduction for the interest on home mortgages.
He supports a proposed 15-cent increase in the gasoline tax. Besides raising money to support the federal budget, Cooley said the tax would encourage people to conserve gasoline. "I think that would be one of the benefits of that, but it would hit a lot of people awful hard," he said.
Cooley is broadly supportive of the 2010 health care reform bill backed by President Barack Obama. If elected, Cooley said he would consider delaying its implementation to give state governments more time to make key decisions, for example, whether to expand their Medicaid coverage as part of the plan. Cooley said those discussions were never going to happen in earnest until the U.S. Supreme Court voted to uphold most of the law.
In a district where Republicans run heavily on social issues, Cooley walks a traditional Democratic line on some issues but not others. He said the Supreme Court decision establishing the legality of abortion is settled law and should not change. He said he would support civil unions for gay couples, though not marriage. "I don't think the country's ready for that right now," he said. "I think there's an emotional commitment to the term marriage that we need to respect."
Cooley said the U.S. Constitution gives residents a right to own firearms and he supports that.
Source: Associated Press