Paul Cook (politician)

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Paul Cook
Paul Cook, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 8th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Nancy Pelosi
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 65th district
In office
December 4, 2006 – November 30, 2012
Preceded by Russ Bogh
Succeeded by Sharon Quirk-Silva
Personal details
Born (1943-03-03) March 3, 1943 (age 75)
Meriden, Connecticut, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jeanne Cook
Residence Yucca Valley, California, U.S.
Alma mater California State University, San Bernardino
Southern Connecticut State University
University of California, Riverside
Occupation Professor
Religion Roman Catholic[1]
Awards Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star
Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart (2)
Website Representative Paul Cook
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Paul Cook (born March 3, 1943) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for California's 8th congressional district since 2013. Previously, he served as a member of California State Assembly from 2006 to 2012 and on the Yucca Valley city council from 1998 until 2006. He is a Republican.

Early life, education, and military career

Cook was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1943. He was raised in Meriden and didn't permanently move to California until the end of his military career. In 1966, he graduated from Southern Connecticut State University, earning a B.S. in teaching. Late that year, he joined the United States Marine Corps. As an infantry officer, Cook served in the Vietnam War.[2] He later earned an MPA from California State University, San Bernardino in 1996 and a master's in political science from University of California Riverside in 2000. Cook's military record spanned twenty-six years. His actions in combat earned him many honors, including the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He served in the Marine Corps for 26 years.[3]

Academic career

From 1993–1994, he was Director of Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce. From 1998-2002, he was a professor at Copper Mountain College. Cook taught courses on political violence and terrorism at University of California Riverside since 2002.[4]

California Assembly


In 2006, Cook ran for California's 65th Assembly District. Cook won a five candidate Republican primary field with 29% of the vote.[5] In the general election, Cook defeated Democrat Rita Ramirez-Dean 60%–37%.[6] In 2008, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Democrat Carl Wood 53%–47%.[7][8] In 2010, he won re-election to a third term, defeating Wood again 58%–42%.[9]


The 65th district included the cities of Banning, Beaumont, Big Bear Lake, Calimesa, Cherry Valley, Hemet, Moreno Valley, Perris, San Jacinto, Sun City, Twentynine Palms, Yucaipa, Yucca Valley and other smaller communities and unincorporated areas in Riverside County and San Bernardino County.

The California Chamber of Commerce and the California Taxpayers Association gave Cook a perfect 100% rating from 2007-2011.[10] In 2010, Democratic Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez appointed Cook to chair the Veterans Affairs Committee, the first time a Democratic speaker had appointed a Republican to chair a committee since 2002.[11]

Committee assignments

  • Accountability and Administrative Review Committee
  • Budget Committee
  • Emergency Management Committee
  • Governmental Organization Committee
  • Higher Education Committee
  • Inland Empire Transportation Issues Committee
  • Master Plan for Higher Education
  • Preservation of California's Entertainment Industry Committee
  • Sunset Review Committee
  • Veterans Affairs Committee (Chair)[12]

U.S. House of Representatives

2012 campaign

In January 2012, 34-year incumbent Jerry Lewis announced he would not seek re-election in November. Cook entered the primary for the district, which had been renumbered from the 41st to the 8th in redistricting. He finished second in the 13-candidate all-party open primary. He earned 15% of the vote. Fellow Republican and conservative activist Gregg Imus ranked first with 16% of the vote.[13] Cook was endorsed by the California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA) past presidents, the San Bernardino Sun, National Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans Coalition, the County Farm Bureau, state Assemblyman Steve Knight, state Senator Sharon Runner, and U.S. Congressman Ed Royce.[14] In the November election, Cook defeated Imus 58%–42%.[15]

Committee assignments

Caucus Memberships

  • Congressional Cement Caucus

Personal life

Cook resides in Yucca Valley with his wife, Jeanne.[10]


  1. Paul Cook at Project Vote Smart
  2. "Biography of Col. Paul Cook (Ret.) | Congressman Paul Cook". Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Paul Cook, R (Calif.-8th)". Roll Call. 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "California, 8th House District". Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "CA State Assembly 65 – R Primary Race – Jun 06, 2006". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "CA State Assembly 65 Race – Nov 07, 2006". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "CA State Assembly 65 Race – Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. York, Anthony. "Legislative results include warning signs for Assembly Republicans". Capitol Weekly. Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "CA State Assembly 65 Race – Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Biography". Retrieved 3 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Assemblyman Cook Named Chair Of Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee". 2010-03-19. Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Paul Cook". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "CA – District 08 – Open Primary Race – Jun 05, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Join Paul Cook Blog | Thoughts from Colonel Paul Cook". Paul Cook. Retrieved 1 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "CA – District 08 Race – Nov 06, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Nancy Pelosi
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 8th congressional district

January 3, 2013 –
Succeeded by
California Assembly
Preceded by
Russ Bogh
California State Assemblyman
65th District
Succeeded by
Sharon Quirk-Silva
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Doug Collins
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Kevin Cramer
R-North Dakota