Birthdate: March 7, 1949
Birth Place: Miami, FL, United States
Residence: Salt Lake City, UT
Peter Cooke was born in Miami, and currently resides in Salt Lake City. He received a global education as his father, a Pan American Airlines maintenance worker, took assignments in New Jersey, Florida, Thailand, Puerto Rico and Germany. He received a bachelor's and a master's degree in political science from Utah State University.
Cooke is a retired Army Reserve major general who says he oversaw 10,000 troops in seven states and visited some of his soldiers in Iraq.
Cooke is majority owner and CEO of PSC Development and Evergreene Management Group, which specializes in developing, financing and constructing single- and multi-family housing units in the Western United States.
He served as Utah's economic-director for former Utah Gov. Scott Matheson.
Cooke is a skier, scuba diver, mountain climber, cyclist and runner who has completed four marathons. He is a longtime patron of the arts in Utah.
Cooke and his wife, Heather, have five children.
Peter Cooke, a retired two-star general is trying in 2012 to become the first Democrat elected Utah governor since 1980.
Making his second bid for public office, Cooke is challenging the incumbent, Gov. Gary Herbert. In 1978 Cooke unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House seat held by then-Rep. Dan Marriott, a Republican who served from 1977 to 1985.
Cooke has made economic development in Utah a key issue of his campaign. He wants to encourage development by recruiting small businesses and ensuring they have capital available to them and fair taxes and regulations in order to succeed. He says further investment in the education system is necessary to build long-term economic stability.
He believes strengthening Utah's higher education system is essential to help the state compete economically. "I will strengthen the state university system by directing more state funds to higher education," he said on his campaign website. "I will also promote alternative, affordable education options such as applied technical training in the medical and computer technology fields."
"I will uphold the Utah Constitution's directive on abortion, supporting the measure only in the cases of rape, incest, when the mother's health is in jeopardy or when the fetus is deemed to have defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth," he said on his campaign website.
Similarly, Cooke says he will uphold the state constitution regarding marriage being defined as between one man and one woman but "will aggressively work for anti-discrimination laws to be enacted statewide."
Source: Associated Press