John Cox California

John Cox (California)

John Cox was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1955. He attended the University of Illinois at Chicago where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and political science. Cox went on to attend the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law, earning his Juris Doctor degree.

Legal and Business Career

Law Firm

After completing his law degree, Cox founded his own law firm based in Chicago called John Cox & Associates. As an attorney, he focused on tax law, corporate and securities law, and civil litigation.

Accounting Firm

In addition to his legal career, Cox also founded an accounting firm called Cook & Co. CPAs. He worked with individual and corporate clients on accounting, tax preparation, and financial services.

Investment and Real Estate

Outside of his two firms, Cox pursued work in investment advice, real estate transactions, and venture capital partnerships. He managed investment portfolios for high net worth individuals.

Political Beginnings

Local Offices

Cox’s first foray into politics was running for local office in Illinois. In the 1980s and 90s, he ran unsuccessful campaigns for Congress and the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

Statewide Campaigns

2018 Governor Race

Cox moved to California in 2011 and soon set his sights on higher statewide office. In 2018, he campaigned for Governor of California but lost in the general election to Democratic candidate Gavin Newsom.

See also  Judd Larkins

2021 Recall Election

When a recall election was initiated in 2021 to remove Governor Newsom from office, Cox joined the race to become his potential replacement. However, voters rejected the recall in favor of keeping Newsom, ending Cox’s gubernatorial bid.

Initiatives and Propositions

Neighborhood Legislature

In 2017, Cox filed a ballot initiative called the Neighborhood Legislative Districts and Working Groups Act. It proposed restructuring the California legislature into smaller neighborhood districts. But the initiative failed to gather enough valid signatures to make the ballot.

Gas Tax Repeal

Cox endorsed Proposition 6 in 2018, a ballot measure seeking to repeal California’s gas tax increase. The proposition did not pass, with voters choosing to keep the higher gas taxes.

Political Positions

Jobs and Economy

Cox positioned himself as a fiscal conservative and businessman. He campaigned on cutting taxes, reducing regulations, opposing minimum wage hikes, and creating a more business-friendly environment.


On immigration, Cox supported building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and ending sanctuary city policies. He opposed giving immigrants a path to citizenship without penalties.


Water Infrastructure

Cox prioritized investing in new water infrastructure like dams and reservoirs to address California’s droughts.

High-Speed Rail

He strongly opposed funding for California’s high-speed rail project, calling it a boondoggle.

Criminal Justice

Cox took a tough-on-crime stance, supporting the death penalty and harsher sentences. But he also backed rehabilitation programs and addressing root causes like poverty.

Personal Life

John Cox is married to Sarah Cox and together they have four daughters. He moved his family to California in 2011, settling in San Diego. When he’s not campaigning, Cox enjoys spending time with his family. He has also written two novels.

See also  Robert Fulton


In his political evolution from Chicago accountant and lawyer to California’s leading Republican gubernatorial contender, John Cox championed conservative policies and tried repeatedly to break the Democratic Party’s dominance in the deep blue state. Though unsuccessful in his bids for the governor’s office, Cox gave voice to fiscally and socially conservative values within California’s political arena and public discourse.


Q: What is John Cox’s background before entering politics?

A: Cox was a lawyer and accountant in Chicago, running his own law firm and accounting firm. He also worked in real estate, investment advice, and venture capital.

Q: How many times did Cox run for California governor?

A: Cox ran for governor of California twice – first in 2018 and then in the 2021 recall election. He lost both times.

Q: What ballot initiatives did Cox sponsor?

A: Cox sponsored a failed 2017 initiative to restructure the California legislature and a 2018 initiative to repeal California’s gas tax increase.

Q: What were some of Cox’s key political positions?

A: Cox took conservative stances on fiscal issues, immigration, crime, and the environment. He supported tax cuts, harsher criminal sentences, and investing in water infrastructure.

Q: Why did Cox move from Illinois to California?

A: Cox moved to California in 2011. This allowed him to run for statewide office in the populous state, pursuing his political ambitions after local losses back in Illinois.

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