John H. Cox

John Cox

John Cox campaigns at a Lincoln Day Dinner in 2007
Born John Herman Cox
(1955-07-15) July 15, 1955
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater University of Illinois at Chicago
Occupation Lawyer, accountant, businessman, broadcaster, aspiring politician
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Sarah Cox

John Herman Cox (born July 15, 1955) is an American lawyer, accountant, businessman, broadcaster, and aspiring politician. He is a multi-millionaire and financier of many California governmental reform ideas and ballot propositions. He was the first Republican to seek formally the party's 2008 nomination for president but effectively withdrew from the race in late 2007 and suspended his campaign shortly after.


Born on the near south side of Chicago, Illinois, Cox is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he majored in accounting and political science, and of Illinois Institute of TechnologyChicago-Kent College of Law. He is married to Sarah, has four daughters, and is Roman Catholic.[1] He credits his wife with inspiring him to run for president.[2]

In 1981, he founded a law firm specializing in corporate law and tax planning, John H. Cox and Associates Ltd. In 1985, he founded Cox Financial Group Ltd., which specializes in investment counseling, income tax planning, retirement planning, and asset protection. In 1995 he founded Equity Property Management, a real estate management firm specializing in apartment rental property.

He hosted The Progressive Conservative, a twice-weekly bought-time radio talk show on low-wattage WJJG 1530 AM in Chicago.[3] Featuring guests like Michael Moriarty,[4] its themes included criticism of trial lawyers[5] and creation of a website in March 2003 that nominated public figures (such as Janeane Garofalo, Jacques Chirac, and Martin Sheen) as "Friends of Saddam".[6]

At the 2006 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Cox was a speaker, in a debate on the issue of capital punishment. Unlike most conservatives, Cox opposes the death penalty.

Cox has served on a local school board and a zoning board.

Cox created a chapter of Rebuilding Together, a nationwide charitable organization that is dedicated to renovating homes for low-income, elderly, and disabled persons and families with children. Seeing the need for the program in his community, Cox recruited a board and formed the "Christmas in April" North Suburban Chicago Chapter. He has served on the boards of charities such as the American Cancer Society, Boy's Hope/Girl's Hope, and United Charities. Cox currently sits on the board of the USO and the FireWorks for Kids Foundation.

Illinois political campaigns

In 2000, Cox ran for Congress in Illinois's 10th congressional district to replace retiring Congressman John Edward Porter, losing the Republican primary race to former Porter aide Mark Kirk.

In 2002, Cox ran for U.S. Senate in Illinois on a conservative platform, aligning himself with Reagan Republicans.[7] He lost the Republican primary with 23% to Jim Durkin. Cox later served as president of the Cook County, Illinois, Republican Party.

In 2004, Cox garnered 41.43% of the votes against long-time incumbent Democrat Eugene Moore in the Cook County Recorder of Deeds race.[8] Cox said he decided to run for the office in order to eliminate the position; he saw the office as an unnecessary duplication of services that had become a "model of waste and corruption".[9]

2008 presidential campaign

Campaign developments

On March 9, 2006, Cox announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for U.S. president in 2008, becoming the first Republican to formally enter the 2008 presidential race.[10]

His campaign said he visited all 99 counties in Iowa, and his website indicated he continued to make almost monthly visits there during 2007. It also stated that he made twelve campaign trips to the early primary state of New Hampshire between March 2006 and February 2007, and visited the early primary state of South Carolina at least five times since the announcement of his campaign.[11]

Statewide and national Republican Party polls consistently showed Cox with one percent or less of the popular vote. Because of this, Cox was not invited to participate in any of the Republican presidential debates held, except for the September 17, 2007, Values Voter Debate.[12] He asked a federal court to stop the May 15, 2007, South Carolina debate unless he could take part, asserting in a lawsuit that the South Carolina GOP and Fox News Channel "rigged" their selection process to exclude him, by not including his name in the state poll that was used to determine who would be allowed in the South Carolina debate.[13][14] On May 11, 2007, the judge refused to halt the debate.[15][16] Cox also accepted an invitation to a debate at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, scheduled to air on MSNBC on November 6, but the debate was eventually cancelled.[17]

His name was on the ballot in the Ames Straw Poll on August 11, 2007, where he also spoke.[18] He came in last (eleventh) with 41 votes, or 0.3% of the vote.

On October 27, 2007, Cox "all but conceded defeat" during the annual Reagan Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, sponsored by the Republican Party of Iowa.[19] He stated he would return to Chicago to start a political action committee to promote "non-career politicians".[20][21] His joking about his chances of winning was widely taken as a concession speech. However, the next day, Cox clarified to the Rocky Mountain News that he was "not out of the race".[22] On November 12, the Des Moines Register published his letter to the editor and identified him as a Republican candidate seeking the nomination for president.[23] He stated he continued to seek change within the Republican Party, and has paid ballot fees and appears on ballots in South Carolina, California, and several other states;[22] he can also be included in non-fee caucus states such as Nevada.

A Washington Secretary of State spokeswoman said ambiguously that Cox had withdrawn from that state's primary after he had sought inclusion on the state ballot;[24] he failed to make the ballot in a large number of primary states, such as West Virginia. On December 19, 2007, Cox told Chicago Tribune reporter Eric Zorn that he had closed his campaign offices in late November, and said competing in the presidential race was a lost cause.[25] But later in December, he was characterized as still "aiming for the presidency.. to reach the conservative electorate and talk about what Americans get with candidates with name recognition",[26] and he cited this description on his official blog.

The Iowa Republican Party did not report results for Cox or for any write-ins in the Republican Iowa caucus of January 3, 2008; Iowa Farmer Today said Cox "had little support" in the caucus.[27] On January 8, Cox received 40 votes in the New Hampshire primary.[1][28] On January 19, CNN carried a photo of Cox's and other campaigns' signs on its politics homepage, as a lead for discussing the South Carolina and Nevada votes;[29] Cox captured 83 votes in South Carolina on that date.[30] His official blog host later stated that he "suspended his bid for the White House in 2008, but the fight for a limited and constitutional government remains in full force."[31] John Cox was interviewed on the 30 minute television program "Public Affairs in Chicago, Illinois, April 20, by host Jeff Berkowitz. It was shown several times in the cities surrounding Chicago at later dates and was uploaded to YouTube. He stated that he was looking at the 2012 election, the banner title captions from the program stated that John Cox was a candidate for the 2008 presidential primary, and another showed his campaign website.


As of December 22, 2006, the Cox campaign had committee chairmen in 33 states, including Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. A campaign press release of October 26, 2006 touted a volunteer organization of 104 counties across the nation.[32] After that point, many county organizers left the campaign for candidates considered more viable.[26]


In the first quarter of 2007, Cox raised $2,668, according to his campaign's Federal Election Commission report. Total raised from individuals through that quarter was $12,107, while Cox had loaned his campaign $745,000.[33] Cox insisted that he provided enough funds to sustain the campaign, and that he left television and radio advertising up to those who agree with his message.

In the second quarter of 2007, Cox raised $1,410, lower than any announced candidate for president. As of June 30, 2007, Cox had loaned his campaign over $935,000, and the Cox for President campaign had $11,355 on hand.[34]

In the final quarterly FEC report of 2007,[35] Cox reported raising just $266 between June 30, 2007 and December 31, 2007, and the campaign had $1,963.63 on hand. Cox had loaned his campaign an additional $30,000 in the quarter, bringing the total contribution from his own pocket to just over $1,055,000 for his presidential campaign. By December 31, 2007, his total expenses had reached $1,058,250 since entering the race in February, 2006, according to the FEC report.

Neighborhood legislature

In 2012 and 2014, Cox filed petitions which were accepted by California's Secretary of State to begin collecting signatures to subdivide California's existing legislative districts in 100 neighborhood districts, arguing that substantially smaller districts will disempower the ability of special interest groups to buy elections. However, both efforts fell short of the required amount of valid signatures to land it on the 2014 ballot. John has spent in excess of $1 million to try to qualify this proposition for the ballot.

"California is Not for Sale"

"California is Not for Sale" was a proposed ballot initiative for the 2016 ballot that would require legislators to wear the logos of their top 10 donors on their suits when advocating for policies on the Senate or Assembly floor. Although the effort failed to qualify, it was reported that the effort gathered roughly 250,000 signatures, which was reasonably close to the required 365,000 signatures. Cox spent nearly $1 million towards consultants and paid signature gatherers.


  1. 1 2 O'Brien, Nancy Frazier (2008-01-18). "The incredible shrinking field of Catholic presidential candidates". Washington Letter. Catholic News Service. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. Labash, Matt (2007-05-21). "The Sane Fringe Candidate". Weekly Standard. 12 (34). Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  3. Feder, Robert (2003-07-22). "Talk show hosts aim for U.S. Senate". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2007-12-08. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  4. "Michael Moriarty Unofficial, Unauthorized, Unsanctioned Home Page". 2005-09-21. Archived from the original on 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  5. "The Rule of Lawyers: Author Events". Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  6. "Progressive Conservative Radio Program Launches Friends of Saddam Website". Business Wire. 2003-03-23. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  7. Sweet, Lynn, "Left to Chance: Republicans won’t get a double punch at the top of the ticket in November", NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS, January 1, 2002. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  8. "Suburban Cook County Election Results". Cook County Election Department. Archived from the original on September 4, 2008. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  9. "REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE - JOHN COX". Archived from the original on 2007-12-04. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  10. Tabor, Nathan, and Kouri, Jim (2006-05-04). "Election 2008: First Republican Announces Presidential Run". Renew America. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  11. "Schedule: John Cox". John Cox official campaign website. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
  12. "Values Voter Debate". Archived from the original on 2007-11-13.
  13. "Candidate sues over debate". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 2007-05-11. p. A7. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  14. Associated Press (2007-05-03). "GOP invites 10 presidential hopefuls to debate". Orangeburg Times and Democrat. Retrieved 2007-05-05. Chicago investment adviser John Cox will not be invited because he did not obtain high enough poll results as required by the party and Fox News Channel.
  15. "Dead link". Retrieved 2007-10-19.
  16. Dinan, Stephen (2007-05-03). "Outsider wants in at GOP debate". Washington Times. Retrieved 2007-05-05. He will be standing outside the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., during tonight's first Republican candidate debate, arguing that he has as much right to be on the stage as the other candidates do.
  17. "Cox to be in MSNBC debate". Newsvine. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
  18. Murray, Mark (2007-08-10). "Tomorrow's GOP Scrimmage". First Read. MSNBC. Archived from the original on 2007-11-10. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  19. Wagner, Jay (2007-10-28). "Huckabee, Thompson Energize Crowd At Reagan Dinner". Iowa Independent. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  20. Pearson, Rick (2007-10-27). "Ron Paul: Tear down missiles, Mr. Whatsyaname". The Swamp. Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
  21. Wagner, Jay (2007-10-29). "Huckabee, Thompson Energize Crowd At Reagan Dinner". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  22. 1 2 Sprengelmeyer, M.E (2007-10-28). "Existential politics". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2007-11-11. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  23. Cox, John (2007-11-12). "Cox: Statesmen will focus on ideas, not moneymaking". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  24. Mulick, Chris (2007-11-14). "Initial list for presidential primary released". Tri-City Herald. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  25. Zorn, Eric (2007-12-20). "Catching up with early departures". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  26. 1 2 Dorsey, Chris (2007-12-29). "Cox continues Oval Office run despite a deck stacked against him". Iowa Politics. Archived from the original on 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  27. Lucht, Gene (2008-01-09). "Caucuses good for Iowa: Farm Bureau president". Iowa Farmer Today. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  28. Politico Partners (2008-01-12). "State of the States: Heading west". Politico. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  29. CNN (2008-01-19). "S.C., Nevada could spring new front-runners". Election Center 2008. CNN. Archived from the original on 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  30. "South Carolina Official Results: Republican Presidential Preference Primary - January 19, 2008". State of South Carolina. 2008-01-19. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  31. " Web Site Unavailable". SmallGov Times. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  32. "John Cox Presidential Campaign Announces Three State Committee Chairs; 16 States Now Organized for First Announced Candidate of the 2008 Race" (Press release). Cox 2008 Committee, Inc. 2006-10-24. Archived from the original on 2007-05-02. Retrieved 2007-05-05. The campaign has volunteer coordinators organizing 104 counties.
  33. Ruff, Claremont, treasurer, Cox 2008 Committee, Inc. "Form 3P for COX 2008 COMMITTEE INC". FEC Form 3P: Report Of Receipts And Disbursements. Federal Election Commission. Retrieved 2007-05-05.
  34. "Form 3P for COX 2008 COMMITTEE INC". FEC Form 3P: Report Of Receipts And Disbursements. Federal Election Commission. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
  35. F.E.C. IMAGE 28930294963 (Page 1 of 89)

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