John Cox, the Republican in the race for for California governor, is the married father of four daughters, and he was raised in Chicago, Illinois by a single mother, whose experience as a public school teacher he has highlighted on the campaign trail.
Cox is squaring off against Gavin Newsom in the general election. He was among the top two candidates in the gubernatorial primary in June 2018. That has some people wondering about the millionaire businessman’s family.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. John Cox Is Married to the Former Sarah Hall & They Are Active in the Catholic Church Together
John Cox, who is 62-years-old, is married, and his wife’s name is Sarah Cox. His wife was photographed blowing John Cox a kiss at a Republican election party during the primary.
As with John Cox, Sarah has previous ties to Illinois, online records show.
Sarah’s Facebook page shows the couple frequently travel the world together.
2. John Cox Has Four Daughters
John Cox is the father of four daughters named Julianne, Sarah, Stephanie, and Shannon.
John Cox has a bachelor’s degree in political science and accounting from the University of Illinois, and a law degree from the Institute of Technology/Chicago-Kent College of Law.
He is the founder of Equity Property Management and Cox Financial Group Limited. He is a lawyer, certified public accountant and venture capitalist whose net worth is said to exceed $200 million.
Shannon Cox wrote on Facebook with a photo of her younger sister, “This is how Julianne and I take family trips with our dad..with headphones on:).” Facebook posts indicate that some of the girls are John’s daughter with another woman and that Julianne is his daughter with Sarah Cox.
3. John Cox Was Raised by a Single Mother in the Midwest
John Cox’s website biography highlights the fact he was “raised by a single mom in the Midwest,” positioning him as a businessman, not a politician, who is a Californian by choice. Specifically, he was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.
The California GOP website biography for John Cox makes a big deal of what it describes as a hardscrabble upbringing, saying that John Cox’s mother was named Priscilla. She “raised John on her own after his biological father walked out on them both shortly after John’s birth,” the website says.
According to the GOP biography, Priscilla Cox was a public school teacher and had two degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Growing up, the mother and son lived on “Chicago’s tough south side in a small apartment,” according to the bio.
4. John Cox Had a Stepfather Named Thomas Cox & Priscilla & Thomas Railed Against Corruption
Eventually, Priscilla Cox married, and John Cox gained a stepfather. According to the California GOP biography, his name was Thomas cox, and he worked for the U.S. postal service.
The bio says that John Cox was influenced by his mother and stepfather, who “often spoke of the corruption, waste and inefficiency in the public school system and in the post office – both government-run monopolies.”
The website describes Priscilla Cox as a “staunch Democrat and union member” who nonetheless “often decried the patronage system in Chicago and the corruption of the Daley machine that harmed her schools.”
John Cox brought up his mother during a campaign speech, The Los Angeles Times recalled, saying, “My mom would come home at night and she would sit on the sofa and literally cry. Why? Because she had to deal with some of the worst principals you could ever imagine in the Chicago public schools. Why were they principals? Because they were friends of the [City Council member]. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is political corruption.”
5. John Cox Credits His Wife Sarah With Encouraging Him to Run for President
It’s not John Cox’s first turn at the ballot box. He actually ran for president in 2007. An Iowa caucus website says his wife was instrumental in that decision.
“John’s wife, Sarah, is partially responsible for his presidential run,” the website reported. It says that his wife witnessed her husband’s “frustration with the corrupt and shamelessly immoral Republican leadership and the incompetent president,” and urged him to do something about it.
The next morning, she saw him “still awake” and reading a book on Ronald Reagan. “Honey, I’m going to run for president,” he told her, the website recounts, to which she responded, “Oh. My. God.” He also ran unsuccessfully against Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate race. He is also known for advocating that politicians wear donor labels much as Nascar drivers highlight their sponsors, according to The Los Angeles Times.