Byron Cook (politician)

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Byron Cook
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 8th district
Assumed office
Preceded by Paul Sadler
Personal details
Born (1954-04-08) April 8, 1954 (age 62)
Political party Republican
Residence Corsicana, Navarro County
Alma mater Navarro College (A.A., 1974)
Occupation Rancher; Businessman
Religion Baptist

Byron Curtis Cook (born April 8, 1954) is an American businessman, rancher, and Republican politician from Corsicana in east central Texas, who is a state representative for the counties of Anderson, Freestone, Hill, and Navarro.

Early life and education[edit]

Cook graduated from Navarro College with an associate's degree in 1974.[1] Cook's father, the late Leland P. Cook, was the former circulation manager for the Corsicana Daily Sun. Leland left the newspaper to start a family business. In 1986, he and Cook founded Tradewest, a now-defunct video game company and licensee of several Nintendo games, including Double Dragon, Battletoads, and Super Off Road.[2][3]

Texas House of Representatives[edit]

Cook is the chairman of the Texas House State Affairs Committee and as a member of the Texas House Calendars Committee. He is also a member of the Texas House Republican Caucus and Texas Conservative Coalition. Cook has also served in past legislative sessions as Chairman of the Texas House Committees on Civil Practices and the Committee on Environmental Regulation; and as a member of the Texas Sunset Commission.

During the 2015 Texas legislative session, Cook filed a bill to allow illegal immigrants to obtain one-year driving permits, which received pushback from lawmakers within the state.[4]

Cook is one of two named investor "victims" in securities fraud charges filed against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in 2015. Cook and Paxton were friends who served together in the Texas House of Representatives.[5]

2016 primary election[edit]

In March 2016, Cook defeated Tea Party challenger, Thomas McNutt, in the Republican primary.[6] Cook won nomination to his eighth term by 225 votes, 14,421 (50.4 percent) to McNutt's 14,196 (49.6 percent).[7] McNutt's campaign claimed that there was voter fraud in Hill County during the Republican primary.[8][9][10] After investigation, the Hill County Election Administration Board and the Hill County Election Administrator stated that there was no voter fraud in the 2016 primary.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Cook is a native of Corsicana. He and his wife Kay have two daughters.[12] Outside of his political career, Cook is a businessman and rancher.[13]


  1. ^ Belcher, Bob (May 7, 2014). "Cook, Barton To Address Navarro Graduates". Corsicana Daily Sun. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ Graft, Kris (November 17, 2009). "Tradewest Founder Leland Cook Passes Away". Gamasutra. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  3. ^ Brice, Kath (August 21, 2016). "Midway Rebranded Tradewest Games By New Owner". Gamer Network. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  4. ^ Rangel, Enrique (March 14, 2015). "Bill Would Allow Some Undocumented Immigrants To Get Driving Permits". Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  5. ^ Fernandez, Manny (August 3, 2015). "Securities Fraud Charges Bring Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, to County Jail". New York Times. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Recent News: The Genesis Behind Byron Cook's Signature Legislation This Session Endorses McNutt". Retrieved December 28, 2015. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Race Summary Report: 2016 Republican Party Primary Election". Office of the Secretary of State of Texas. March 1, 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  8. ^ Blanchard, Bobby (July 21, 2016). "Up to 1,700 votes unaccounted for in close Texas House primary race". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  9. ^ Tony McDonald (July 21, 2016). "Texas SOS, AG Launch Criminal Investigation Into Illegal Voting". Texas Scorecard: A News Magazine for All Texans. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  10. ^ Pattani, Aneri (July 21, 2016). "Texas AG Asked to Investigate Hill County Elections". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  11. ^ Scott Braddock (August 16, 2016). "Hill County officials reject allegations of voter fraud and welcome AG review". Quorum Report. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Byron Cook Texas House Biography". KWTX. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  13. ^ Aguilar, Julian (February 5, 2016). "Bongs, Fruitcakes Energize Central Texas House Race". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Paul Sadler
Texas State Representative for District 8 (Anderson, Freestone, Hill and Navarro counties)

Byron Curtis Cook

Succeeded by