Kristin Cook wants to take next step in public service, move from prosecutor to judge

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

When Kristin Cook was growing up in Summers County, she told her mom she wanted to be a policeman. 

“My mom encouraged me to be a prosecutor or judge,” remembers Cook, “to have more of a long term impact.”

Now after serving as Summers County Prosecutor for the last eight years, Cook is running for Circuit Judge, District 31, as Judge Robert Irons is retiring. 

“I was raised in Forest Hill,” Cook says. “My parents moved to Beckley because my dad was a coal miner. Then may parents divorced. My dad married a lady from Monroe County, so from my teenage years I’ve been back and forth.”

Upon graduation from law school, Cook knew she wanted to be back home to Summers County. 

“I’ve only been a public servant,” she says of her career in the prosecution world. “I did clerkships with Judge Kirkpatrick and Judge Irons and worked for the Fayette County public defender’s office. Then in 2016, I was elected as the prosecutor for Summers County.” 

Cook is proud of her record as prosecutor, saying she has achieved a 95% conviction rate. 

“I really want folks to know that I have handled everything from felony cases to misdemeanors to civil cases representing elected officials,” she shares. “I am in the circuit court almost every single day practicing law. That covers all kinds of law.”

And up until this year, she was the only one in the prosecutor’s office. “I was the solo prosecutor. That’s extremely unusual. People in other counties always ask me how I do it? It’s public service for me but it’s more than that.”

Cook is excited to get out and meet folks on the campaign trail exploring a new form of public service, saying, “Your circuit court judge is always a leader within that community. That’s a position you can affect a lot of change.”

Being part of the community is important to Cook. “I’ve always been actively involved in my community. It starts with my membership at Fairview Baptist Church. I’m also part of the WV Prosecutor’s Institute, Children’s Advocacy Network, and I’ve worked on legislation and trainings for active shooter situations and public safety.” 

In her spare time, Cook is a sports referee. “I do volleyball and basketball at all levels as a certified referee with the WVSSAC.” 

Cook is running for Circuit Court in District 31 which serves Monroe & Summers. Her opponents include Amy Mann, Keith Lively, and Rod Mohler. Voters will choose a new judge in the primary election this May.


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