The Vision to Lead. The Courage to Serve.
Please take some time to view Mary's biographical video:
About twenty years ago, as a result of domestic violence, Mary found herself a single Mom with three children and an income of about $15,000 a year. Mary knew she couldn’t stay at that income level and provide for her family, but she absolutely did not want to ask for or become dependent on government money.
Mary decided to work two jobs. That allowed her the ability to go back to college, and in 1993 she graduated magna cum laude from Avila with a degree in information science. She couldn’t stop smiling!
What kept Mary going was her faith in God, an encouraging family, and her belief, that in America, if you set your mind to a goal, and your shoulder to the wheel, you can accomplish just about anything.
Mary went on to get her MBA and in the process of everything found a loving husband and today is the proud grandmother of a growing brood of great little kids.
When Mary finally had time to look around her, she saw a society and a government that kept telling people what they couldn’t do, that we were all victims of one sort or another, and that we needed the state to solve our problems and to regulate our lives.
Mary knows what it’s like to be afraid and alone and responsible for the welfare of young children. But Mary felt strongly, even then, that the dignity of the individual is bound up with the exercise of self-reliance and personal responsibility.
“I believe in the American dream—and I have first hand experience with it. To me, that dream means life – absolutely; liberty – undeniably; and the pursuit of happiness – for all.” — Senator Mary Pilcher Cook
Mary Pilcher Cook is married to Don Cook – a talented musician and furniture repair technician. Mary and her husband have five children and five grandchildren, and are small business owners in the mobile furniture repair business.
Mary grew up in Shawnee and St. Joseph Parish and her parents, Ray and Bertha Pilcher, were members from 1963 until they passed away. Her brother, Fr. John Pilcher now serves Mater Dei Catholic Parish, which consists of two churches in Topeka, Assumption Church and Holy Name Church.
Mary received a BS in Information Science, magna cum laude, and an MBA specializing in finance from Avila University. Mary was employed as a software engineer, and she has professional experience of over 23 years in the high-tech financial news industry.
Mary has an extensive record of fighting for conservative principles in Topeka, and has earned the reputation as a passionate advocate for those principles - including on religious liberty, economic freedom, finding cures through ethical stem cell research, judicial reform, accountability in government, and building a culture of life.