Sen. Donald Cookman announces official run for his appointed sea - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Sen. Donald Cookman announces official run for his appointed seat

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Sen. Donald H. Cookman, D-Hampshire, seems to like it at the West Virginia Legislature – so much so that he's decided to run to keep the seat to which was appointed.

Cookman, a 20-year judge of the 21st Judicial Circuit of West Virginia, was appointed to an unexpired term West Virginia Senate for the 15th District.

That seat was left vacant when Walt Helmick was elected Agriculture Commissioner.

Cookman signed and filed pre-candidacy paperwork with Secretary of State Natalie Tennant March 8 in Charleston.

"When Gov. (Earl Ray) Tomblin appointed me to fill the vacant Senate seat, I made a commitment to him and to the people of the 15th District that I would be more than a seat warmer," Cookman said in a news release. "While I've only been in Charleston just a few weeks, I believe that I have shown that to be true.

"I have jumped into the fray, attempting to focus on issues that my experience makes me well-suited to address – such as reforms to the court systems and issues near and dear to me – the interests of West Virginia's children."

Cookman said in his news release that he doesn't intend "to be one of those politicians that is constantly running for office," but that the seat will be open for election in 2014.

Cookman is a Romney native. He and his wife, Paula, have three children and three grandchildren.