Mark Cole (politician)
|Member of the Virginia House of Delegates|
from the 88th district
|Assumed office |
January 9, 2002
|Preceded by||Tom Moss|
|Born||June 6, 1958|
|Spouse(s)||Eugenia Ann Fairchild|
|Residence||Spotsylvania County, Virginia|
|Alma mater||Western Kentucky University|
Germanna Community College
Mary Washington College
|Committees||Privileges and Elections (Chair)|
|Awards||Navy Commendation Medal (3)|
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1980–2004|
|Unit||USS Mississippi (CGN-40)|
United States Naval Reserve (1985–2004)
Mark L. Cole (born June 6, 1958, in Louisville, Kentucky) is an American politician of the Republican Party. Since 2002 he has been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. He currently[update] represents the 88th district in the Virginia Piedmont, made up of parts of Fauquier, Spotsylvania and Stafford Counties, and the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Cole grew up in Monticello, Kentucky.[self-published source] He has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering technology from the Western Kentucky University, an associate degree in computer information systems from Germanna Community College and a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Mary Washington.
After graduation from Western Kentucky University in 1980, Cole entered the United States Navy and was commissioned as an officer. He served on USS Mississippi (CGN-40) as Ordnance Officer and Assistant Combat Systems Officer. He left active duty in 1985 but continued to serve in the United States Naval Reserve where he retired as a Commander in 2004.[self-published source]
After leaving the Navy in 1985, Cole was employed as a systems analyst and manager by Northrop Grumman supporting the Navy at Dahlgren, Virginia until 2012. In 2013 he was hired by Spotsylvania County, Virginia as deputy county administrator.[self-published source]
Cole was elected to the Spotsylvania County, Virginia Board of Supervisors in 1999, where he served until 2002 when he took office in the Virginia House of Delegates. He is the chairman of the House Privileges and Elections Committee and is a member of the House Finance and Education Committees.[self-published source]
Cole was criticized in February 2010 for comments made by him about his sponsorship of HB53, a bill in the House of Delegates which would ban implantation of microchips into humans by their employers:
My understanding -- I'm not a theologian -- but there's a prophecy in the Bible that says you'll have to receive a mark, or you can neither buy nor sell things in end times, some people think these computer chips might be that mark.
Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said of this on MSNBC that "the sort of paranoid strain of thinking among these folks just—it advances to meet the new technology that we have." The bill passed the House on a bi-partisan vote 88 to 9. 
In 2016, Cole sponsored House Bill 663, a bathroom bill restricting public restroom use according to a person's "anatomical sex", defined as "the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined by a person's anatomy", with violators liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $50. HB663 was introduced on January 11, 2016 and died in committee in February 2016. It was widely reported that HB663 would require adults to inspect the genitals of children before they were allowed to enter the appropriate facilities, but this was dismissed by Snopes as a misleading interpretation of the bill's text, which states that administrators "shall develop and implement policies that require every restroom ... that is designated for use by a specific gender to solely be used by individuals whose anatomical sex matches such gender designation." Cole sponsored House Bill 781 one day later on January 12, 2016, which used the same wording but substituted "biological sex" for "anatomical sex". The use of "biological sex" allowed for an update via amended birth certificate. HB781 also died in committee in February.
In 2017, Cole sponsored House Bill 1598, which would require those registering to vote after January 1, 2018 for state and local elections to provide proof of citizenship. HB1598 passed the House of Delegates on a 64-37 party line vote in February 2017.
- Cole, Mark. "About Mark Cole". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "Information for Mark Cole". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2015-03-23.
- "Republican Del. Mark Cole named Spotsy's new deputy county administrator". The Free Lance-Star. fredericksburg.com. 11 December 2012. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Cole, Mark. "Mark Cole On the Issues". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "House Bill 3202". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2015-03-23.
- "House Bill 2313". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2015-03-23.
- Cole, Mark L. (22 December 2009). "HB 53 Human tracking devices; unlawful use thereof by insurer or employer". Virginia General Assembly. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Kunkle, Fredrick; Helderman, Rosalind S. (February 10, 2010). "Human microchips seen by some in Virginia House as device of antichrist". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- "'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Wednesday, February 10th". NBC News. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Cole, Mark L. (22 December 2009). "HB 53 Human tracking devices; unlawful use thereof by insurer or employer". Virginia General Assembly. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
- Cole, Mark L. (11 January 2016). "HB 663 Restroom facilities; use of facilities in public buildings or schools". Virginia General Assembly. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- LaCapria, Kim (13 January 2016). "Cole's Law". Snopes. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Cole, Mark L. (11 January 2016). "HB 781 Restroom facilities; use of facilities in public buildings or schools, definition of biological sex". Virginia General Assembly. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Cole, Mark L. (3 January 2017). "HB 1598 Voter registration; proof of citizenship required to register to vote in certain elections". Virginia General Assembly. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Iannelli, Nick (2 February 2017). "Virginia House passes proof-of-citizenship voting bill". WTOP. Retrieved 14 November 2017.