Election: Defeated Gregg Imus, R, to succeed Rep. Jerry Lewis, R, who retired
Residence: Yucca Valley
Born: March 3, 1943; Meriden, Conn.
Religion: Roman Catholic
Family: Wife, Jeanne Cook; two children
Education: Southern Connecticut State U., B.S. 1966 (education); California State U., San Bernardino, M.P.A. 1996; U. of California, Riverside, M.A. 2000 (political science)
Military: Marine Corps 1966-92
Career: Marine Corps officer; chamber of commerce director; college instructor
Political highlights: Yucca Valley Town Council, 1998-2006; Calif. Assembly, 2006-present
Paul Cook, R-Calif. (8th District)
Committed to conservative fiscal policies, Cook believes in tackling high taxes and government corruption. Cookís extensive experience in state and local government has prepared him to be an advocate of his districtís most important issues.
"Iíll continue my work to support economic policies designed to help create jobs and restore our economy. Itís time we reform our regulatory environment and put people back to work," he said during the campaign.
Cook believes in simplifying the tax code, encouraging investment, developing new domestic energy resources and eliminating wasteful spending. His committee assignments in the assembly gave him multiple opportunities to address inefficiency and provide oversight on the state level.
As a retired Marine Corps colonel - during his 26 years of service he earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star - Cook is a longtime defender of veterans and military families. He chaired the Veterans Affairs Committee in the California Legislature.
"Military and veterans seem to be a low priority with this administration, but I wonít let Washington replicate the past, where they forgot about veterans returning from Vietnam," he said in a campaign statement.
His conservatism extends to social issues as well: Cook is anti-abortion and has said he will fight any effort to restrict gun-ownersí rights.
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Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.