Served our Country in the Military and now in Office- Congressman-elect Paul Cook

Posted December 5, 2012



This is the fourth in a series of profiles of the 12 veterans elected to Congress for the first time in November.

Retired Marine Corps Colonel Paul Cook enters the 113th Congress representing the largest geographic region of any California representative. The newly drawn eighth district stretches from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Mohave Desert and westward to near San Bernardino.

The new congressman spent 26 years on active duty with the United States Marine Corps, retiring with the rank of colonel. An infantry officer, he is a veteran of the Vietnam War, and he was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor device and two Purple Hearts during his service.

Mr. Cook was first elected to the California State Assembly in 2006. During his three terms representing parts of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, he served as chair of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee. He successfully sponsored legislation that requires registered sex offenders to disclose their registration status to prospective employers when applying for a job where they would be working in a position directly with and in an unaccompanied setting that provides goods or services to minors. He also sponsored a bill calling for proclamation of March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,” and made it a crime to falsely claim receipt of a military decoration or medal.

He makes his home in Yucca Valley, California, where he began his political career as mayor and a city councilman. Mr. Cook is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University where he earned a bachelor of science in education. He holds a master’s in political science from the University of California, Riverside and a master’s in public administration from California State San Bernardino. Congressman-elect Cook has taught various college level courses that include history, public administration, and political science at Copper Mountain College, Cal State University, San Bernardino, and UC Riverside.