State Sen. Bill Cook meets citizens for breakfast
ELIZABETH CITY — The Pasquotank Ruritan Club hosted a ‘meet and greet’ Saturday morning for citizens to meet with their state senator and enjoy breakfast at the same time.
Sen. Cook made a few brief remarks and then spent the rest of the time talking with new arrivals or sitting at the table with others, sharing his concerns for the future of our state as well as listening to comments about what the legislature is doing right and wrong.
Approximately 100 tickets were sold, although some purchasers did not attend. Those present seemed happy to have the opportunity to talk with the Senator face-to-face rather than listening to a canned political speech.
Cook was asked by many people about the state of affairs in Washington, D.C. Some expressed their displeasure with the Affordable Care Act, which had been passed by President Obama in his first term. Others were very pleased with the help that Cook had provided with the very thorny issue of wind energy in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. Likewise, they expressed grave concern that the federal debt is currently at $19.5 trillion and rising, which they all saw as a national security issue as well as an economic concern.
Some of his constituents suggested that Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has a wide margin of support in the area. Cook said he had no interest in pursuing his political career at the federal level.
Cook is a retired electrical company executive who is facing Democrat Brownie Futrell in the November election. Futrell has received more in campaign contributions, but Cook believes his record in the legislature will hold him in good stead with voters when they enter the voting booth and decide which candidate to support.
Now 71, Cook was asked whether or not he would like to retire after completing another two-year term. He stated that he would continue to seek reelection if the voters wanted him to.
In talking with GiGiBadawi and her husband Steve Owens, they spoke specifically about the wind energy proposals under consideration in Perquimans County. The board of commissioners has voted to allow issuance of a Conditional Use Permit for this project despite heavy citizen opposition. Badawi and Owens were plaintiffs against the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources who had interpreted and ordinance that allowed the Iberdrola Renewables project to proceed in Pasquotank County, which would bring wind turbines very close to their property across the county line.