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Cook was Richardson volunteer

By John Christie
Senior Reporter
© Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting

AUGUSTA — New documents have come to light that show that James “Jimmy” Cook has been a volunteer on John Richardson’s campaign to be governor.

A story by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, published last week, documented how Cook, despite not appearing to meet the minimum job requirements, got two professional-level jobs in the state Department of Economic and Community Development in 2007-2008 when Richardson ran that agency.

Cook’s primary work experience was as a UPS truck driver and Teamster political activist and organizer.

In an interview for that story, Richardson said on the phone that Cook had not been a paid worker on his campaign nor a volunteer. In a subsequent email exchange with Richardson’s communications director, Monica Castellanos, she repeated that Cook had not been paid worker, but did not clear up if he had been a volunteer.

Since then, the Center has discovered four “Primary Nomination Petitions” for Richardson’s candidacy that were circulated by Cook. The petitions, which are signed by registered voters, are a required part of the process to get on the ballot.

Castellanos subsequently confirmed that Cook has been a volunteer in Richardson’s campaign.