Cook will resign from his council seat at the Feb. 18 council meeting. It will be filled by appointment. The Maricopa County board of supervisors appointed Cook to the county position.
Cook was voted onto the council in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 and 2018. He served as vice mayor in 2014 and 2019.
Cook was one of 11 applicants for the assessor’s job, which became open when Paul Petersen resigned last month following his arrest in connection with an alleged child adoption scheme. Petersen is an adoption attorney.
The county assessor’s office locates all taxable property in the county, identifies who owns the property and determines how much the property will be taxed. The assessor’s office also determines which properties receive tax exemptions and deferrals and maintains the tax assessor parcel maps. It is an elected position.
Cook said he intends to run for election for the assessor’s position in November as a Republican, though it will require him to gather more than 4,000 signatures in seven weeks. Council positions are nonpartisan.
Cook said he had intended to fill his final council term, which expires in January 2023, before looking to run for a higher office.
“This opportunity landed in my lap a little earlier,” he said. “Some people I know said to throw your name in the hat and see what happens.”
Cook said the others who applied for the assessor’s position also had gifts to bring to the position. He said he thought his work serving on regional boards, such as the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association and the Maricopa Association of Governments economic development board, helped him gain the county position, as well as his technology background working at cloud data services and data management company NetApp.
Cook said he hopes to restore public confidence in the office and create a “one-team culture” in the office where team members feel valued.
Cook will be the third person to vacate their position with the council. Council Member Jared Taylor is not running for re-election, and Mayor Jenn Daniels announced Feb. 3 that she is withdrawing from the race.
Additionally, Council Member Jordan Ray is gathering signatures to run for justice of the peace of the Highland Justice Court, and Council Member Brigette Peterson is gathering signatures to run for mayor after Daniels’ withdrawal. If they successfully get enough signatures by the April 6 deadline, they would be forced by state law to resign their council seats to run for the new positions.
Vice Mayor Scott Anderson is running for re-election to the council this fall.
The remaining member of council, Aimee Yentes, was elected in 2018 and intends to stay in her position.