June 11, 2024 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Statehouse Convention Center Little Rock
For sponsorship or ticket information contact:
Tiffany Mattzela
Event Director

Michael Cook

Michael Cook
Chief of Staff
Lt. Gov. Bill Halter
Little Rock
Michael Cook was 19 years old in 1991 and knew he wanted to work in politics. Gov. Bill Clinton knew he wanted to run for president. It's unsurprising that Cook found a volunteer job working for Clinton's exploratory committee on Seventh Street in downtown Little Rock.

"It was a small place with only a couple of paid staffers," Cook said about Clinton's operation. "I said ... 'I'm here and I'd like to volunteer.'"

Before long, he was Clinton's national college coordinator, and "in New Hampshire, during that fight, I just fell in love" with politics.

Since then he has worked off and on in politics, spending off time managing his parent's Little Rock restaurant, Café Prego.

Cook, 36, has worked on more than 25 campaigns and became executive director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas in February 2001.

"The thing I'm most proud of is the thing we just finished: the scholarship lottery," said Cook, who was Halter's 2006 campaign manager. "The lieutenant governor pledged that if he was elected, he would somehow bring it to the people to vote on. He just kept pushing and pushing, and I really admire that."

Cook has a life outside politics, however. He was part of the Leadership Greater Little Rock program and participates in the Little Rock School District's Arkansas Scholars Program, speaking to eighth-grade students about the importance of attending college.

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