Cook makes it official: Running for Land Commissioner

Former mayor undaunted by odds

POSTED: 04:31 PM MDT Sep 02, 2013    UPDATED: 12:39 PM MST Jan 16, 2014 

Former El Paso mayor John Cook has made it official: He's running to be the next Texas Land Commissioner.

That office is currently held by Republican Jerry Patterson, who has announced his intention to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2014.  

Cook says he's not bothered by the long odds Democrats face in the Lone Star State.  By  the time the election takes place, it will have been twenty years since any Democrat has won any statewide office in Texas.

If he can get through the Democratic primary, Cook would likely face George P. Bush, son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, in the general election.  Bush has already reported raising more than $3 million dollars for the race.

Cook says he's not fazed by the challenge.  “ I’d rather get $2 each from a million voters, than $2 million from a couple of people, "Cook said.  "I don’t want to buy peoples’ votes, but I am sure going work hard to earn them.” 

The office is technically known as Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office.  It is primarily responsible for administering Texas's public lands for the benefit of public education, but has many other statutory duties as well, including management of the Alamo.

The full slate of candidates won't be known for sure until the filing deadline in early December.  The primary will be held March 4, 2014.