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Cook was raised near Jackson, Missouri, and attended public schools. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 1972 with a degree in political science. She received her law degree from the University of Missouri in 1975 and practiced law in Cape Girardeau.
While working in private law practice, Cook was appointed to the Missouri State Board of Education by Governor John Ashcroft. She was subsequently re-appointed by Governor Mel Carnahan. In December 1994, Carnahan appointed Cook as Missouri's Secretary of State. Cook succeeded Judi Moriarty who had been impeached and removed from office following a scandal.
In 1996, Cook was elected to a full term as Secretary of State. She chose not to seek re-election in 2000. In 2004, Cook ran for Lieutenant Governor and won a contested primary to become the Democratic nominee. However, she was defeated by less than 1% of the vote in the general election by Republican Peter Kinder who is also from Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.
Cook is married to Cape Girardeau attorney John Larkin Cook. They have two children.
- "Cook, Rebecca "Bekki"". Our Campaigns. June 27, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
- "Election Night Reporting". Election results from the Missouri Secretary of State's office. November 2, 2004. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
|Missouri Secretary of State