Harold Cook (political consultant)
Harold Cook (born January 16, 1961) is a Texas public relations strategist and political advisor who has long been active in press operations, public policy formation and strategy, elections and politics.
Cook, a native of Houston, is best known for organizing the six-week-long quorum break of Democratic Texas State Senators, the "Texas Eleven", in Albuquerque, New Mexico and serving as the Senators' spokesperson. The 2003 quorum break, done in an attempt to prevent a mid-decade redistricting of Congressional districts led by Texas Congressman Tom DeLay, was by far the longest in Texas history.
Cook has also served as the lead spokesperson and media relations aide to two Texas Secretaries of State and served the Texas General Land Office as team leader of World Wide Web marketing and public relations.
Much of his time has been spent in the electoral arena, where he has worked with campaigns such as the efforts of President Bill Clinton in Texas, Texas Governor Ann Richards and scores of other individual campaigns from United States Senator to state district judges as well as state-wide Democratic coordinated campaign efforts in two states, through several election cycles. The most recent time a Democrat in Texas won statewide was under Cook’s leadership of coordinated efforts in 1994. Despite a massive nation-wide Republican shift, five state-wide Texas Democrats won in what has ultimately proven to be the final election in which any statewide Democrat has prevailed in the state.
Cook has extensive legislative and governmental experience, having worked for the Texas Secretary of State’s office, the Texas General Land Office, the Texas House of Representatives and as a consultant for the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus. He also worked for several years in private industry in the offshore oil and gas business.
Cook is a former Executive Director of the Texas Democratic Party and currently lives in Austin. In addition to his role as a political advisor, he also advises non-political clients on public relations, public image and crisis management communications. He was named one of the top ten Democratic consultants in Texas in the 2004 Power Rankings list of Capitol Inside, a respected online political news and information site.
- "On the Lam, Texas Democrats Rough It," The New York Times, August 1, 2003, by Nick Madigan
- "Analysts debate decline in primary turnout," San Antonio Express-News, May 22, 1994, by Bruce Davidson