Cook declines debate challenge

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

To the Editor:

Dear Public Defender Brockman:

Thank you for your recent letter and for offering your congratulations on my recent success in winning the Republican and Conservative Primary Elections. In a small community such as ours, it is certainly encouraging to know that people can contest and disagree about important community matters without the rancor and animosity that is frequently seen in Albany and Washington, D.C.

However, unlike a federal, state or county legislative office, the District Attorney does not have the authority to enact new laws, but as the chief law enforcement officer of the county, is required to uphold and enforce the law.

With regards to your published request to a public debate, I honestly do not see the need for such an event. As you are well aware, during the past few months, we have both been in attendance at least two dozen public events (i.e. Meet the Candidates Nights in Milo, Rushville and Potter, and the Meet the District Attorney Candidates SCOPE meeting, as well as the SCOPE Pig Roast, and Middlesex Town Board meeting, etc). At many of these events, we both answered inquiries concerning our diverse qualifications and our different reasons for seeking election to the Office of District Attorney. Throughout the campaign, we have both visited with hundreds of county residents, representing all political parties as well as Independents, in their homes and at numerous community dinners. We have both appeared on a local radio talk show, and have both been interviewed by and answered written questions from the local newspapers regarding our respective career experiences and vision for the future.

I fail to see how a debate, at this point in the few weeks remaining until the General Election, will enlighten our fellow citizens to any greater degree. Rather we should, and I will, continue to travel throughout the county to meet the voters personally and to talk about the importance of the Office of the Yates County District Attorney and how the prosecution of crime affects their daily lives.

Therefore, although I respect you and your continued efforts in your ongoing election campaign, I respectfully decline your invitation. I wish you and your family well.

Jason L. Cook, Esq.

Penn Yan