Former Rep. Merrill Cook (R) is back for an encore performance on the state’s political stage.
This time he’ll be playing the role of Senate candidate in the already crowded primary against Sen. Bob Bennett (R).
Cook is a well-known political entity, and his campaign slogan is, “You Know Merrill Cook.”
After running several times for state and local offices in the 1980s and 1990s, Cook, a wealthy manufacturer of mining explosives, was elected to Congress in 1996. But he squabbled frequently with state and national Republican leaders and was defeated in the 2000 GOP primary.
Cook has attempted several political comebacks, both as an Independent and as a Republican, including an unsuccessful 2008 bid against Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson (D) and a failed GOP convention challenge of then-Rep. Chris Cannon for the 3rd district in 2006.