Cooke Kelsey is a native Houstonian, attorney and nonprofit leader who is running to serve the people of Harris County on the 113th District Court.

Cooke has focused his legal practice on both civil litigation and criminal defense, including financial fraud, real estate, civil rights, legal malpractice and breach of contract cases. During and after law school, Cooke worked in both federal and state courts, clerking for U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon and interning for U.S. Fifth Circuit Judge Jennifer Elrod and Justice Brett Busby of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals of Texas. He handled over 200 cases, and gained valuable perspective on how judges make decisions.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Cooke devoted more than a decade to public service, advocating for education, equality and those affected by natural disaster. He helped launch Music National Service, an education start-up that was a public/private partnership with public schools in six cities. As a relief coordinator, Cooke led a 50-person team after Hurricane Katrina, and for 20 years assisted the elderly and homeless through various organizations, including Meals on Wheels, Star of Hope and Urban Harvest.

Cooke was a founder and director of Law School Mentors, has been a volunteer music teacher and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Scenic Houston.

Cooke received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was an honors graduate and Dean’s Excellence Scholar.