Tom Smart, Deseret News
General Peter Cooke and Vince Rampton concede in their run for Utah governor and lieutenant governor as Utah Democrats gather at the Salt Lake Sheraton on Election Night, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Salt Lake City. Cooke has accepted a call to serve as a mission president for the LDS Church.
It's such an exciting time. It's a new adventure. —Peter Cooke

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke said Thursday he has received a call from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as a mission president.

"We're very excited and want to serve," said Cooke, a retired Army general who challenged GOP Gov. Gary Herbert in last November's election. "That's got to be in the DNA, military and the government. This gives us another opportunity to serve."

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Cooke, a management consultant, said he expects to find out in March where he and his wife, Heather, will serve the three-year mission set to begin in July. 

"We have no idea where we're going — wherever they decide," he said.

Cooke said he is looking forward to working with the younger men and women entering the mission field. The LDS Church recently lowered the required age for missionary service from 19 to 18 for young men and from 21 to 19 for young women.

"It's such an exciting time," said Cooke, who converted to the church after moving to Utah to study forestry at Utah State University. "It's a new adventure."

Lisa Riley Roche

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