After his rookie run for U.S. Senate in 2006 as a write-in candidate against Jim Webb and incumbent Sen. George Allen, Thomas H. "T-Hank" Cook is ready for another run.
This time around he's hoping to unseat three-term state Sen. Stephen H. Martin, R-Chesterfield.
There's been at least one setback so far. Cook had secured an initial endorsement from the Independent Green Party, but lost it to Roger Habeck, a former Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce director who's also running for the seat.
"I was with the Greens, but since Roger Habeck got the money, they wanted me to step down and let Roger have it," Cook says. "I wasn't stepping nowhere, so I'm running against Habeck and Martin."
Cook, 55, works for Cadmus Communications as a quality inspector by day and doodles as a country-music singer by night. He says his U.S. Senate run was inspired by the irreverent country star and best-selling mystery author Kinky Friedman, who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Texas.
In the 2006 U.S. Senate race, Webb received 1,175,606 votes, Allen got 1,166,277 and there were 2,460 write-ins, according to the State Board of Elections. Localities were not required to count the write-in ballots, but Chesterfield's General Registrar Lawrence C. Haake III seriously doubts all of them went to Cook.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Martin has raised $165,244. Habeck has $39,661, and Cook, so far, has $250. S