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State of California (Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra Counties) November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Ken Cooley

Candidate for
State Senator; District 1

This information is provided by the candidate

Rancho Cordova Mayor Ken Cooley Biography


Ken Cooley and his wife Sydney have lived in Sacramento County's Rancho Cordova since1977. It's where their sons were born, grew up in local schools, sports and Scouting and where they both remain active in community life. Ken was elected to Rancho Cordova's first City Council upon its formation in 2002. He was re-elected in 2004 and 2008 and has repeatedly been his community's top vote-getter.

Ken and his wife Sydney, a church bookkeeper, have been married 35 years. Their two sons have pursued ministry has their career vocation of choice; one is a William Jessup University graduate in full time ministry as a youth pastor while his brother is currently engaged in seminary studies.


Ken was admitted to the California State Bar in 1984 and is a 1977 graduate of U.C. Berkeley (BA in Political Science). Ken's law studies were at the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law.


After his graduation from U.C. Berkeley, Mayor Cooley served as the top staff member to California Assemblyman Louis J. Papan until 1985, leaving the Assembly that spring to practice law with a focus on real estate and housing as the California Land Title Association's Legislative Counsel. His career changed course in 1988 when he was asked to return to the Assembly as Chief Counsel to the Assembly Finance and Insurance Committee. From 1991 until accepting an early retirement offer during the financially tumultuous fall of 2008, Mayor Cooley served as Legal Counsel for the State Farm Insurance Companies, one of America's most financially conservative financial organizations.

At State Farm, Mayor Cooley's specialty was law and public policy formation and its impact on homeowner's, renters and the driving public and business operations.

Since April 2009, Mayor Cooley has been employed by the State Senate as Principal Consultant to the Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee, making Ken the only person who has ever served both the Assembly and Senate as their top advisor to these very substantive finance sector (banking and insurance) committees.

Regional & State Civic Leadership:

League of California Cities (LofCC)

1. Regional LofCC Leadership: Modoc to Amador Division (Sac Valley Div. is comprised of 58 Cities )
- 2004/05, Elected by City peers 1st Vice President of Division
- 2005/06, Elected by City peers President of Division

2. Statewide League of California Cities Leadership

- 2006/08, Elected At-Large Member LofCC statewide Governing Board.
- 2006/07, Vice Chair, LofCC Housing, Comm. & Econ. Develop. Committee
- 2007/08, Author, LofCC Mortgage Crisis: How Your City Can Help
- 2007/08, Chair, LofCC Housing, Comm. & Econ. Develop.Committee
- 2008, Elected Second Vice President of the statewide LofCC Exec. Comm.
- 2009, First Vice President, LofCC statewide Executive Committee

3. California State Seismic Safety Commission

- 2005, Nominated to "Cities" post on the Commission by LofCC
- 2007, Appointed as Commissioner representing state's cities by Governor
- 2008, Confirmed by State Senate
- 2008, Elected Vice Chair, California Seismic Safety Commission

4. Sacramento Transportation Authority

- 2004 to Present, Member
- 2006/07, Vice-Chair
- 2007/08, Chair

5. Insurance Regulatory Examiner Society Foundation

- 1999-2007, Member, IRES Foundation Governing Board

6. RAND Institute for Civil Justice

- 1999-2007, Insurance Advisory Committee (IAC) Member

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 11, 2010 12:00
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