|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
December 4, 2006 – November 30, 2012
|Preceded by||Russ Bogh|
|Succeeded by||Sharon Quirk-Silva|
Paul Joseph Cook
March 3, 1943
Meriden, Connecticut, U.S.
Southern Connecticut State University (
California State University, San Bernardino ( MPA)
University of California, Riverside ( MA)
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
Purple Heart (2)
Paul Joseph 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 town council from 1998 until 2006. He is a Republican.
- 1 Early life, education, and military career
- 2 Academic career
- 3 California Assembly
- 4 U.S. House of Representatives
- 5 Political positions
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Electoral history
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Cook was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1943. He was raised in Meriden and did not 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. Later that year, he joined the United States Marine Corps. As an infantry officer, Cook served in the Vietnam War.  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. 
After he retired from the Marine Corps in 1992 as a colonel, he 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.
From 1993 to 1994, he was Director of Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce. From 1998 to 2002, he was a professor at Copper Mountain College. Cook taught courses on political violence and terrorism at University of California Riverside since 2002. 
In 2006, Cook ran for California's 65th Assembly District. Cook won a five candidate Republican primary field with 29% of the vote.  In the general election, Cook defeated Democrat Rita Ramirez-Dean 60%–37%.  In 2008, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Democrat Carl Wood 53%–47%.   In 2010, he won re-election to a third term, defeating Wood again 58%–42%. . Cook recently won the midterm 2018 election against former state assemblyman Tim Donelly.
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, 2007–2011.  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. 
- 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) 
- Judiciary Committee
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.  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.  In the November election, Cook defeated Imus 58%–42%. 
In 2013, Cook co-signed a letter to then president Barack Obama, urging him to finalize the Keystone XL pipeline, stating that it was about "jobs, jobs jobs." He also expressed fear that China "is ready to take advantage of America's missteps with the Keystone pipeline." 
Early in 2017, Cook voted in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act. His reason for voting for the repeal was to ensure that "every American has access to quality care to fit their budget."  In August 2017, he voted in favor of outlawing late term abortions, unless the woman was a victim of rape or incest or that her life was threatened. 
Cook voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  By voting for the bill, Cook says that the bill will "deliver crucial tax relief for middle-class and low-income Americans." He voted for this bill because more than 90 percent of taxpaying constituents will receive a tax break. He also supports it because it simplifies the tax code. 
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on Foreign Affairs
- Committee on Veterans' Affairs
- Congressional Cement Caucus
- House Baltic Caucus 
- Republican Main Street Partnership 
- Congressional Western Caucus 
In the first session of the 115th United States Congress, Cook was ranked the 33rd most bipartisan member of the House by the Bipartisan Index, a metric published by The Lugar Center and Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy to assess congressional bipartisanship. 
Cook supports repealing the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). He supports legislation that "decreases premiums, makes it easier for employers to offer affordable healthcare options for their employees, and allows greater freedom for people to purchase a plan of their choice." 
Cook believes that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is unconstitutional.
|California State Assembly 65th District Republican Primary Election, 2006|
|California State Assembly 65th District Election, 2006|
|Peace and Freedom||John Taleb||3,358||2.|
|California State Assembly 65th District Election, 2008|
|Republican||Paul Cook (inc.)||93,566||53.3|
|California State Assembly 65th District Election, 2010|
|Republican||Paul Cook (inc.)||78,475||57.9|
|California's 8th Congressional District Primary Election, 2012|
|California's 8th Congressional District Election, 2012|
|California's 8th Congressional District Primary Election, 2014|
|Republican||Paul Cook (inc.)||40,007||58.1|
|California's 8th Congressional District Election, 2014|
|Republican||Paul Cook (inc.)||77,480||67.6|
|California's 8th Congressional District Primary Election, 2016|
|Republican||Paul Cook (inc.)||50,425||42.0|
|Democratic||Roger La Plante||6,661||5.5|
- "Biography of Col. Paul Cook (Ret.)". Cook.house.gov. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
- "Paul Cook, R (Calif.-8th)". Roll Call. October 10, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
- "California, 8th House District". NationalJournal.com. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "CA State Assembly 65 – R Primary Race – Jun 06, 2006". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "CA State Assembly 65 Race – Nov 07, 2006". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "CA State Assembly 65 Race – Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- York, Anthony. "Legislative results include warning signs for Assembly Republicans". Capitol Weekly. Archived from the original on 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "CA State Assembly 65 Race – Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "Biography". joinpaulcook.com. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "Assemblyman Cook Named Chair Of Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee". Republican.assembly.ca.gov. 2010-03-19. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "Paul Cook". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "CA – District 08 – Open Primary Race – Jun 05, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "Join Paul Cook Blog | Thoughts from Colonel Paul Cook". Paul Cook. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- "CA – District 08 Race – Nov 06, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "Congressman Paul Cook Urges President Obama to Allow Keystone Pipeline – High Desert Daily". High Desert Daily. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Moore, Stacy. "Obamacare repeal gets Paul Cook's vote". Hi-Desert Star. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Celentano, Catherine (6 October 2017). "Here's how Inland-area members of Congress voted on abortion limits, federal budgets". Press Enterprise. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "Rep. Cook Votes for Final Version of Tax Reform Bill". Highland Community News. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- "The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: The Lugar Center. April 24, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
- "Paul Cook on the Issues". On The Issues. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paul Cook (politician).|
- Congressman Paul Cook official U.S. House site
- Paul Cook for Congress
- Paul Cook at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
| Member of the
from the 65th district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 8th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
United States Representatives by seniority