Ken Cooley

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Ken Cooley
Ken Cooley.jpg
California State Assembly District 8
In office
December 3, 2012-present
Term ends
December 1, 2014
Years in position 3
Base salary$95,291/year
Per diem$141.86/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limits3 terms (6 years)
Bachelor'sUniversity of California, Berkeley (1977)
J.D.McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific (1984)
Office website
Ken Cooley is a Democratic member of the California State Assembly, representing District 8. He was first elected to the chamber in 2012.

Cooley formerly was a candidate for the 2011 special election to District 1 of the California State Senate.


Cooley earned his B.A. in Political Science from University of California Berkeley in 1977 and his J.D. from Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 1984. His professional experience includes working as the mayor of Rancho Cordova since 2002. Cooley worked as a staff member for Assemblyman Louis J. Papan from 1977-1985. He went on to practice law for 3 years, until returning to the Assembly as Chief Counsel to the Assembly's Finance and Insurance Committee. From 1991 until his retirement in 2008, he worked as Legal Counsel for the State Farm Insurance Companies. At State Farm, he specialized in law and policy formation as it relates to homeowners, renter, drivers, and business operations. Since 2009 he has worked for the State Senate, serving as Principle Consultant to the Banking, Finance, and Insurance Committee. Cooley has lived in Rancho Cordova since 1977 with his wife Sydney. They have two sons.[1]

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Cooley served on the following committees:

California Committee Assignments, 2013
Accountability and Administrative Review
Governmental Organization


Campaign themes


Cooley's 2011 special election campaign site emphasizes several key policy positions and campaign themes:

  • Jobs: "I know this election is about jobs. Still, I see a more fundamental need. California needs what we’ve lost -- a Legislature known for problem-solving instead of personal attacks. As your Senator, I’ll work on jobs. But job creation will lag, and families will suffer, until our Legislature regains a reputation for productive work, including on-time State Budgets. I pledge myself to work daily on jobs and restoring the Legislature’s honor."
  • A Respected Leader: "I'm known statewide. Between 2004 and 2009, city officials from Modoc to Sacramento County helped me become the #2 officer for California’s League of Cities. I’m also a respected voice in the Capitol. In 2007 the Governor appointed me with Senate confirmation as Seismic Commissioner for California’s cities."
  • Budget: "My home and work have made conservative financial principles a lifetime habit. This common sense way for my Church bookkeeper wife and I to manage our home was refined, along with my finance analysis skills, during 18 years as Counsel to State Farm Insurance, one of America’s most conservative financial institutions. Finally, I know that when government honors its trust, everyone gains. Rancho Cordova, which has balanced every budget, with yearly surpluses, last year earned a higher credit rating, despite the recession!"



See also: California State Assembly elections, 2012

Cooley won election in the 2012 election for California State Assembly, District 8. He advanced past the June 5, 2012 blanket primary, defeating John Thomas Flynn (R), Barbara Ortega (R), Philip Tufi (R), and Janice Marlae Bonser (L). Cooley defeated Peter Tateishi (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[2][3]

California State Assembly, District 8, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKen Cooley 54.3% 92,630
     Republican Peter Tateishi 45.7% 78,006
Total Votes 170,636

California State Assembly, District 8 Blanket Primary, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKen Cooley 42.6% 33,034
     Republican John Thomas Flynn 6.3% 4,853
     Republican Barbara Ortega 20.1% 15,592
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPeter Tateishi 23.5% 18,237
     Republican Philip Tufi 3.1% 2,424
     Libertarian Janice Marlae Bonser 4.3% 3,368
Total Votes 77,508


See also: State legislative special elections, 2011; California state legislative special elections, 2011

Cooley was defeated by Republican Ted Gaines in the January 4, 2011 special election to California State Senate District 1.[4]

Campaign donors


Campaign donor information is not yet available for this year.

According to, the California Democratic Party’s top contributions were made to Cooley for the District 8 Assembly seat.[5] The California Democratic Party gave nearly $2.2 million to Cooley.[6][7]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Mariko Yamada (D)
California State Assembly District 8
Succeeded by