Republican Anthony Cook joins Bennington-2 House race

Republican Anthony Cook joins Bennington-2 House race

Republican Anthony Cook joins Bennington-2 House race

In a significant development for the Bennington-2 House district, businessman Anthony A. Cook has officially entered the race. Cook, who owns Classic Metal Restorations, is now on the Republican Primary ballot for the upcoming election on August 13.

“I want to make a difference,” Cook stated. “There are numerous issues in our state, such as affordability, crime rates, homelessness, and opioid addiction. I believe Vermont can do better.”

Cook, 56, hailing from North Bennington, has long been interested in politics. He has previously volunteered for various Republican candidate campaigns.

While Cook is running unopposed in the Republican Primary, the Democratic Primary features four candidates vying for the two-seat Bennington-2 House district. The Democratic contenders include incumbent Rep. Timothy Corcoran II, William “Will” Greer, Asher Edelson, and Leon Johnson.

At this stage, two Democrats and Republican Cook will compete in the November ballot. “I think the voters of this district should have a real choice; they should have a Republican,” Cook emphasized.

Cook’s business, located on Airport Road in Shaftsbury, specializes in restoring nickel plating on antique automobiles, primarily those built before the late 1920s. His work often involves rare parts, such as those from old Rolls Royce models. He also works on motorcycles and has experience with chrome and copper plating.

Cook’s shop is a niche business, with only two similar establishments in New England and about six in the Northeast. He also restores parts from antique stoves and other fixtures.

Cook graduated from Mount Anthony Union High School in 1987 and later attended a trade school to learn auto body work. He started his business in 2008 and has since built a reputation for quality work, attracting clients from New England and beyond.

“Over the years, I’ve earned a reputation for quality, and I want to bring that to my role as a state representative,” Cook said. He plans to focus on the state budget, particularly education funding and property taxes. “The way education is funded in the state is convoluted,” he noted. “I am more of a policy guy; I like fixing things, fixing problems.”

Cook believes voters deserve a real choice. After high school, he worked for several years before enrolling at the Community College of Vermont, where he earned a business degree in 2004. He spent about a decade working in the shipping department of a local factory, National Hanger, and also took courses at CCV to obtain his business degree.

For a time, Cook also worked as a part-time pizza delivery driver, an experience he now values. “I got to meet a lot of people in this community,” he said. “It was a good way to get out of the shop and socialize. I got to know this town and its culture on another level. From my experience, it’s a good town; it has its problems, but I enjoyed meeting people.”