John Cook (mayor of El Paso)

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John Cook
John Cook 2011.jpg
Mayor of El Paso, Texas
In office
June 13, 2005 – June 23, 2013
Preceded by Joe Wardy
Succeeded by Oscar Leeser
Personal details
Born (1946-02-27) February 27, 1946 (age 68)
Brooklyn, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Tram Cook
Profession Mayor
City Councilman
Businessman

John F. Cook (born February 27, 1946; Brooklyn, New York) is an American teacher, businessman, veteran, civic leader, and member of the Paso Del Norte Group. Cook was Mayor of El Paso, Texas since defeating incumbent Joe Wardy in June 2005, and was reelected in 2009 to a second four-year term.[1] Due to the City Charter's term limits clause Cook was not be eligible for a third term in 2013.[2]

Cook graduated from New York City's Immaculata High School in 1964. He attended the University of Texas at El Paso and earned a degree in business in 1977. In 1970, Cook married his wife Tram Cook, with whom he has six children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Mayor Cook has lived for most of his life in Northeast El Paso, where his family has owned and operated several businesses. He served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970, seeing service as a special agent in military intelligence. He served as the City Council Representative of the 4th District of El Paso from 1999 to June 2005 prior to being elected Mayor. He has been deeply involved in El Paso's community affairs, as a businessman, a teacher, coach, founder and member of the board of many civic and veterans' organizations.

Since becoming Mayor of El Paso, Cook has overseen the adoption of the Paso Del Norte Group's Downtown Redevelopment Plan.

On January 22, 2009 his 88-year-old mother died after a long battle with leukemia.

The mayor and two city representatives were the subject of a failed recall petition in 2012. The petitions were accepted by the City Clerk, affirmed by Judge Alvarez, but overturned by the Eight Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals declared the petitions illegal. Cook claims he has spent over $600,000 on attorney fees to stop the recall.[3]

Cook was one of 25 nominees in 2012 for the world-wide City Mayors Foundation prize, given to the "best mayor in the world".[4]

The Attorney General of Texas, Gregg Abbott, wrote an opinion that cities, schools and counties in Texas, such as the city of El Paso broke the law in offering domestic benefits to same sex partners. John Cook's tie breaking vote to restore the domestic health benefits, after voters overturned it, was not only the cause of the recall effort, but now it is considered against the law according to the opinion of the Texas Attorney General.[5]

Cook is running for the Democratic nomination for Texas Land Commissioner in 2014.[6]

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