John Cook is running for the Texas General Land Office, one of the most important government entities in the state. The office has enormous power over land use, revenue generation, energy policy, the environment, education, and veterans affairs. With such vast authority, Texans deserve a Texas Land Commissioner with experience over large organizations, government experience, and most important, a track record of performance. John Cook has the experience and the integrity to be our next Land Commissioner. As the former mayor of Texas’ sixth largest city, El Paso, John Cook oversaw a $750 million budget and 6,200 city employees.
John Cook was born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1964, John graduated from Immaculata High School and entered the Holy Cross Seminary. After the seminary, John went to work for Western Electric Company as an installer. In 1967, he took a leave of absence in order to volunteer for the U.S. Army where he served until to 1970. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service during his combat tour in Vietnam. Following active duty John served in the reserves until 1973.
In 1977, John graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and in 1993, he received his alternative certification in Special Education from UTEP. After 25 years in telecommunications, John retired from his position as a Manager of Network Operations with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company.
In 1999, John was elected to the El Paso City Council where he served three terms. In 2005, he was elected as mayor and served two four-year terms. He is the longest serving elected official in the history of the El Paso City Government.
John has received numerous awards throughout his years of service. Among the most notable, John is one of a handful of inductees into the Fort Bliss Hall of Fame. He also received the Texas Department of Transportation Road Hand Award and the Teens in the Driver’s Seat Award from TxDOT for his leadership on transportation issues. In 2009, he received the Bi- National Border Achievement Award from the U.S./ Mexico Chamber of Commerce.
The El Paso Municipal Police Officers Association has twice designated John as “Legislator of the Year” for his tireless support of public safety. He was voted Best Elected Official three times. In 2012, John was named 5th Best Mayor in the World for his high ethical standards by the City Mayor’s Foundation, a London based think tank. John received national recognition for his expertise on issues that impact our relationship with Mexico, assuring a balance between securing the border and promoting international trade. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, appointed John as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and the Southwest Border Task Force. He is the co-founder of the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association.
John married his wife, Tram in 1970. He and Tram are the proud parents of six children, 11 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
Energy and Minerals
John Cook has a proven track record of fiscal responsibility and accountability.
- The Texas General Land Office has deposited more than $11 billion into the states Permanent School Fund and Cook is qualified to maximize funding for the education of our children.
Supporting Public Education
John Cook has the management experience to oversee the public land the Texas Constitution set aside to help finance public schools.
- Cook would wisely invest revenues from Texas Public Land to fund and ensure students in every school district in Texas.
Supporting Our Veterans
John Cook is an inductee into the Fort Bliss Hall of Fame and he is committed to Texas Veterans.
- Cook is dedicated to ensuring that the Texas General Land Office serves Texas Veterans through a range of programs. These programs are administered by the Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB).
- Cook is a Vietnam combat veteran, the son of a WWII hero, the brother of a Vietnam combat veteran, and the father of an Afghanistan war combat veteran.
Coastal & Environmental Management
John Cook has the experience to oversee the Texas General Land Office which has responsibility over oil spills and environmental protection.
- Cook is committed to uphold the legislative intent of the Texas Open Beaches Act.
- Cook has an environmental record of fighting the permitting and construction of a nuclear waste dump in Sierra Blanca and stopping the permit renewal for an ASARCO smelter operation in El Paso.
- Cook believes the Texas Land Commissioner has the responsibility to assure that exploration and exploitation of our natural resources is done in an environmentally friendly manner.
John Cook has the experience to manage the Texas General Land Office and its authority with regard to property owned by the state.
- Cook has the track record to ensure that funds derived from Land Management finance the permanent school fund.
- Cook would ensure that Texas maximize return on our assets must be balanced with environmental stewardship.