Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014
Senator Cooper Takes Oath of Office
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January 28, 2014
LITTLE ROCK - John Cooper of Jonesboro was sworn in Tuesday as the state Senator representing District 21 in the Arkansas legislature.
Chief Justice Jim Hannah of the state Supreme Court administered the oath of office in the Senate chamber of the state Capitol. Cooper, 66, won a special election on January 14 to replace former Senator Paul Bookout of Jonesboro, who had resigned in mid-term.
Cooper's current term does not count against his allowed tenure of legislative service under the state term limits amendment. In 2016, when his current term in office expires, he will be eligible to run for two four-year terms in the Senate.
Cooper is a Republican and Bookout was a Democrat. Cooper's election brings the total number of Republicans in the Arkansas Senate to 22. There are 13 Democrats.
District 21 includes Jonesboro and parts of Craighead County. Cooper will be 35th in seniority, and under current Senate rules he will be senior to any freshmen who are elected to the Senate for the first time in the November, 2014, general election.
Cooper retired from AT&T after 35 years. During his time at the Jonesboro office of AT&T he managed the transition from the mechanical age to electronic switching, digital carriers and fiber optics.
He has been an ordained Baptist minister since 1989. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served in communications and received extensive training in military electronics. He and his wife, Sue, have been married for 43 years. They have two children and four grandchildren.