By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
Rob Cook, a 44-year-old Montana native, is making his first move into politics with a run for the state House of Representatives in HD-27.
He is running on the Republican ticket and looks to succeed Representative Llew Jones who is making his move to a Senate seat.
Cook was born and raised in Choteau and after high school he attended MSU-Bozeman where he graduated with highest honors with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Like so many other college graduates, in order to pursue his career in engineering, he had to leave the state.
He was out of Montana for almost 11 years during which time he worked at Boeing Military Aircraft Co, Texas Instruments and Peterbilt Motors.
In 1999, Cook was able to return to the Big Sky as the managing partner of Intercontinental Truck Body (ITB) which is located about 20 miles east of Conrad.
Cook is associated with a number of service organizations. He is a board member of Front Range CASA/GAL. “This organization provides children with an advocate as their cases are adjudicated in our legal system,” he explained.
He is also a member of the National Rifle Association, the Society of Automotive Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the National Truck Equipment Association and Pi Tau Sigma, an honorary fraternity of mechanical engineers.
The Pondera Port Authority and Sweetgrass Development Authority have been a beneficiary of his assistance in their successful pursuit of separate $400,000 Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).
In 2009 Cook received the Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year award and, he holds numerous patents for various innovations.
Asked what he feels the biggest issue is, Cooks says, “The biggest issue currently facing Montana is the lack of jobs available to our young people. It is clear to me that we must stop the exodus of talent associated with this issue.”
Cook goes on to add, “I am a proponent of, and have first-hand experience with, economic development and job creation.”
He cites his “experience of interacting with the Montana Department of Commerce and our own district’s development authorities has provided me with unique insights to these opportunities.”
Cook is in favor of any responsible energy development or measurers that place our public education system on a firm foundation.
He also tells the I-O, “I’m in favor of a tax and regulatory environment that encourages business growth.”
Still single, Cook, in his spare time likes to be in the great outdoors of Montana, hunting, fishing, shooting and hiking.