Running for statewide public office means miles of driving to and from events. Giving the same speech dozens of times across the state, café lunches, hearing numerous complaints from citizens – most of them beyond the power of the office the candidate is running for, and constant phone calls asking donors for more money.
The 2022 election also includes numerous encounters with COVID-19. Republican state auditor candidate Stan Cooke recently recounted his recent severe case of COVID-19.
“On July 29th, I went to the ENT with a sinus infection,” Cooke said. “While there I was tested for Covid and the test was Negative. Then on Monday, August 2 I went to ENT again to be tested, and it was negative. That same Monday Night I was admitted to St. Vincent’s ER with the only symptom being shortness of breath- but still a Negative Test Result. Then on Tuesday, August 3rd, I was rushed by ambulance to UAB ER in Birmingham where my Covid test was Positive.”
“The doctors tried everything but I continued to get worse,” Cooke said. “Finally, after placing me on the Highest Oxygen Level possible, the Doctors asked me to allow them to place me on a Ventilator. I thought about how many people that I knew that died on the Ventilator. After a very long talk with the doctors I told them to do ‘everything to keep me alive – I need to fight for my Family, my Church and the things that God called me to do.’”
“I was on the Ventilator for 4 days and almost died,” Cooke said. “On the fourth day, the doctors removed the Ventilator and continued to treat me in ICU. It was during this time on August 11th, one day before my birthday, that my father, Kyle Cooke, died of heart failure, but I was told a week later due to my condition. “
“After being in UAB Hospital for 21 days I was discharged to go home and go through therapy – which I am doing now… getting a little stronger every day,” Cooke said. “I want to sincerely thank everyone that prayed for me, that called, that sent text, and cards. I ask for your continued prayers. I will see you soon!”
Cooke is the founder and president of an international Christian mission organization, Abraham’s Promise, that directs and supports benevolence programs in Israel, a Christian School in Israel, and educational and humanitarian programs in the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago and Ecuador. Cooke has been involved in the promotion of democracy, capitalistic economies, human rights and freedom of religion efforts for over 35 years.
Cooke has degrees in various areas of study including theology, physical science, Biblical studies, pastoral ministry, Christian education, family counseling, comparative religion, education leadership and technology, and higher education administration from Lee University, The Jewish-Christian Institute and the University of Alabama at Birmingham-the University of Alabama dual degree program. Cooke has a doctoral degree. He is the first person in his family to graduate from college.
Cooke is also a Church of God pastor in Kimberly. He served as a youth director and Christian education director while working full-time as a warehouse manager for Fisher Scientific, Medical Laboratory Associates, the Buyer/Inventory Control Manager for Immediate Business Systems and as an instructor at Virginia College.
Cooke has over 35 years of experience in the ministry. Cooke also has served as a consultant with the International Offices of the Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Cooke’s 19 years of secular work experience includes summer jobs at the V. J. Elmore’s warehouse in Homewood, Alabama, and at several coal mines operated by Drummond Coal to earn money to be able to attend college. He has worked in several industries.
Cooke is married to Linda Michelle Cooke. Michelle works full-time as a word processing specialist for a large Birmingham law firm. They have two adult children.
Cooke has previously run for state auditor and Congress.
Florence Attorney Brent Woodall is also running for auditor. Woodall told APR that he also got COVID-19 in August. State Rep. Andrew Sorrell and former state Sen. Rusty Glover, R-Semmes, are also state Auditor candidates. Former State School Board member Jackie Zeigler, the wife of Auditor Jim Zeigler, is exploring entering the auditor race.
Since March 2020, 724,688 Alabamians have been diagnosed with the coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Republican primary is May 24, 2022.