Marty Cooke stepped onto Brunswick County’s Board of Commissioners mid-term, after a Board Member passed away in 2008. Since then, the Republican incumbent has won reelection twice and he’s seeking his third four-year term.
He faces unaffiliated challenger Marilyn Priddy – who jumped into the race because the Board refused to oppose offshore drilling earlier this year.
Cooke says when the Board decided not to move the official county position from neutral to opposing offshore drilling, it wasn’t because the Board wasn’t listening to people.
"Well, we actually represent over 135,000 people. So even though you may be at 50 or 100 or 200 people come to a meeting, that doesn’t necessarily constitute the bulk of the constituency."
The reasons Commissioners decided to stay neutral, says Cooke, are simple.
"Only five counties in the state of North Carolina out of 100 have even taken a position on it. It’s a federal issue. It’s not our issue. And we’re going to just leave this alone. We just said this is really not our battle."
Marty Cooke’s personal view, which he says he developed after a great deal of research while visiting Alaska, Texas, California, and Louisiana, is supportive.
"I looked at it from a federal perspective. They said – I think it’s 98.6% of oil that is extracted either out of the ground or offshore gets to the end user without a problem."
Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th and polls are open from 6:30 AM until 7:30 PM.