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Election 2009: Brandy Cook to run for Rowan district attorney

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
Though the election isn’t until next year, one candidate wasted no time announcing her desire to succeed Rowan County’s retiring chief prosecutor.
Brandy Cook, a Salisbury resident who’s currently an assistant district attorney in Cabarrus County, made the announcement Thursday at a gathering of family, friends and other supporters at the Farmhouse Restaurant.
Filing for the office doesn’t begin until February and the election won’t be until November 2010. But District Attorney Bill Kenerly said Tuesday he won’t seek re-election, and Kenerly said he’s letting that be known this early in part to give interested candidates plenty of time to step up.
Cook, who has been an assistant district attorney in Cabarrus for nine years, seized that chance.
“I am excited about the opportunity to be elected as the district attorney for Rowan County,” she said.
Cook’s husband, Mark Schindelholz, and his family own and operate the Farmhouse. He expressed full confidence in her ability.
“She’s going to do great at whatever she’s going to do. She’s passionate and if there were 10 days in a week, she’d work 10 days,” he said.
Cook has been the liaison for the Kannapolis Police Department for several years, works closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office through Project Safe Neighborhood, serves on the board of directors for Cabarrus Sentencing Services and teaches courtroom procedure and case-building for Basic Law Enforcement Training.
Cook also mentors middle school children through the Communities in Schools program and speaks at middle schools about the consequences of drug and alcohol use and abuse.
Jennifer Hughes, also an assistant district attorney for Cabarrus County, has worked alongside Cook for five years and said Rowan County would benefit from Cook’s expertise.
“She also believes in what she’s doing,” she said.
Rhonda Douglas of Kannapolis knows firsthand. Cook prosecuted and won a case after Douglas’ son, Damian, was murdered.
Douglas is a member of Mothers of Murdered Offspring. She and four other members attended to support Cook.
“She would be a great district attorney and do a fantastic job,” Douglas said.
“Rowan County could only be so fortunate to carry on the legacy of Bill Kenerly through such a highly skilled professional prosecutor,” Salisbury attorney James Davis said.
As district attorney, Cook plans to target repeat offenders by effectively removing them from the community with lengthy prison sentences. She would prioritize reducing the length of time it takes for a criminal case to get resolved in court.
Cook said she believes “the citizens of Rowan County deserve a district attorney that is experienced, dedicated, and as passionate about justice as I have been and will continue to be.”
Cook graduated from Catawba College.

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