Kirk Cox
55th Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates
In office
January 10, 2018 – January 8, 2020
Preceded byBill Howell
Succeeded byEileen Filler-Corn
Majority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates
In office
December 5, 2010 – January 10, 2018
Preceded byMorgan Griffith
Succeeded byTodd Gilbert
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 66th district
Assumed office
January 10, 1990
Preceded byChip Dicks
Personal details
Born
Marvin Kirkland Cox

(1957-08-17) August 17, 1957 (age 63)
Petersburg, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Julie Kirkendall
Children4
EducationRichard Bland College (AS)
James Madison University (BS)
Signature
WebsiteCampaign website

Marvin Kirkland Cox (born August 17, 1957) is an American politician and retired educator. A Republican and a former high school teacher, he has served in the Virginia House of Delegates since 1990, representing the 66th District. He also served as the 55th Speaker of the House of Delegates.[1][2] Cox served as House Majority Leader from 2010 to 2018 and House Majority Whip from 2004 to 2010.

In October 2020, Cox filed papers to establish a campaign committee preparing to seek the Republican nomination for Governor of Virginia, but said he would not formally announce until after the November presidential election.[3] On November 17, 2020, Cox formally launched his campaign for governor.[4]

Early life and education

Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Cox graduated from Colonial Heights High School in 1975. After studying political science and social science at James Madison University, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in both fields of study in 1979.[5][6] He pledged with Theta Chi at James Madison University.[7] Cox received an Associate of Science (AS) in Life Science from the Richard Bland College at the College of William & Mary in 1981.[8]

Political career

Kirk Cox was first elected from the 66th District to the House of Delegates in 1989. The 66th House District includes all of Colonial Heights and parts of Chesterfield County.[9]

In 2017, legislation successfully patroned by Cox resulted in the establishment of the Online Virginia Network (OVN). OVN is an online consortium that offers degrees in high demand fields from Virginia public universities. The program began with two universities participating—George Mason University and Old Dominion University—and has since expanded to include the Virginia Community College System.[10]

On January 10, 2018, Cox was unanimously elected as Speaker of the House by the members of the House of Delegates. Upon being sworn in, he became the first Speaker in state history from Colonial Heights, the first Speaker to represent a portion of Chesterfield County since the 1800s, and the first Speaker whose profession was that of a public school teacher.[11]

On February 5, 2019, Cox helped the Virginia House of Delegates pass House Bill 2577 to lift the age cap for autism coverage, which helped approximately 10,000 people in Virginia get access to the healthcare they need. Many of these children are not diagnosed until they are already six or seven years of age and need access to important care for longer than just three or four years. No other prevalent health condition—including asthma, diabetes and cancer—has coverage limits that are imposed based on the patient's age. Coverage for all other health conditions is based on medical necessity.[12]

In June 2019, judges declared the House of Delegates' district map illegal due to racial gerrymandering, and imposed a new map. Republican members of the House of Delegates drew the old map in 2011. Cox has opposed the court's ruling, conceding that the map had been drawn to gain political advantage, but not to suppress voters based on race. District 66, represented by Cox, is among the districts that underwent substantial redistricting.[13] The district—as currently drawn—voted for Barack Obama in 2012, Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Joe Biden in 2020; Cox was reelected in 2019.[14]

In July 2019, Cox formally closed a special session on gun control after 1 hour and 30 minutes of deliberation between fellow delegates. Governor Ralph Northam called for the session after the shooting at Virginia Beach, and Cox adjourned the session with no actions taken.[15][16]

In the 2019 election, Cox was re-elected to a 16th term, but the Republicans lost their majority. He relinquished the role of Speaker to Democrat Eileen Filler-Corn on January 8, 2020.[17]

On November 17, 2020, Cox announced his campaign for the Governor of Virginia in 2021.[4] Since announcing his run for governor, Cox has not held back from publicly criticizing Governor Ralph Northam on countless topics, the biggest being Northam's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and sending kids back to school. [18]

Personal life

Cox and his wife Julie reside in Colonial Heights, Virginia. They have four sons: Lane, Carter, Blake, and Cameron. Cox taught government at Manchester High School in Chesterfield County until his retirement in 2012.[citation needed]

Electoral history

Date Election Candidate Party Votes %
Virginia House of Delegates, 66th district
Nov 7, 1989[19] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 10,460 52.47
John G. Dicks, III Democratic 9,468 47.49
Write Ins 8 0.04
Incumbent lost; seat switched from Democratic to Republican
Nov 5, 1991[19] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 10,273 67.58
Jay T. Leverett Democratic 4,919 32.36
Write Ins 9 0.06
Nov 2, 1993[19] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 19,876 99.73
Write Ins 53 0.27
Nov 7, 1995[20] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 11,771 82.12
Gregory R. Rasnake Democratic 2,554 17.82
Write Ins 9 0.06
Nov 4, 1997[21] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 20,827 98.74
Write Ins 265 1.26
Nov 2, 1999[22] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 11,260 98.69
Write Ins 150 1.31
Nov 6, 2001[23] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 19,077 98.29
Write Ins 331 1.71
Nov 4, 2003[24] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 10,896 97.76
Write Ins 250 2.24
Nov 8, 2005[25] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 21,205 96.87
Write Ins 685 3.13
Nov 6, 2007[26] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 11,049 97.51
Write Ins 281 2.48
Nov 3, 2009[27] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 21,428 97.02
Write Ins 657 2.97
Nov 8, 2011[28] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 10,681 96.32
Write Ins 407 3.67
Nov 5, 2013[29] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 20,224 94.69
Write Ins 1,135 5.31
Nov 3, 2015[30] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 12,683 96.43
Write Ins 469 3.57
Nov 7, 2017[31] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 18,572 63.45
Katie A. Sponsler Democratic 10,656 36.41
Write Ins 40 0.14
Nov 5, 2019[32] General M. Kirkland Cox Republican 14,443 51.71
Sheila C. Bynum-Coleman Democratic 13,140 47.05
L. K. Harris, Sr. Independent 342 1.22
Write Ins 4 0.01

References

  1. ^ Report, Contributed. "Delegate Kirk Cox elected as the next Speaker of the House". The Progress. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  2. ^ "Va. House Speaker William Howell, a pragmatic Republican, will not run again". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  3. ^ "Ex-House Speaker files papers to run for Governor," Virginia Lawyers Weekly Oct. 12, 2020 p. 5
  4. ^ a b Times-Dispatch, MEL LEONOR Richmond. "Cox formally announces run for governor, pledging to fight 'big-government worldview'". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  5. ^ "Bio: Kirk Cox". Vote Smart. December 31, 2019.
  6. ^ "Meet Kirk Cox". Kirk Cox.
  7. ^ "Rinaldi's Run". Theta Chi. November 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "Awards of Distinction Recipients". Richard Bland College. "After graduating from Richard Bland College of William & Mary in 1981, Delegate Kirk Cox earned his BS degree from James Madison University."
  9. ^ Times-Dispatch, GRAHAM MOOMAW Richmond. "Kirk Cox elected Va. House speaker as Republicans take 51-49 majority into session's first day". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  10. ^ WFXR, Evanne Armour Richmond. "New Virginia web portal streamlines online college course offerings". WFXR Fox. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  11. ^ Times-Dispatch, GRAHAM MOOMAW Richmond. "Kirk Cox elected speaker of the House on 98-0 vote". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  12. ^ "Virginia House of Delegates passes bill to lift age cap for autism health coverage". WTKR. 2019-02-06. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  13. ^ Vozzella, Laura (August 4, 2019). "In Virginia, redrawn districts test Republicans — including House Speaker Kirk Cox". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  14. ^ "House of Delegates District 66". Virginia Public Access Partnership. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  15. ^ Ponton, Brendan (July 10, 2019). "Virginia special session on gun violence ends abruptly for now with no action". WTKR. Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  16. ^ Schneider, Gregory S. (June 5, 2019). "Gov. Ralph Northam will convene special session of Virginia legislature to take up gun control". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  17. ^ "Eileen Filler-Corn is the first woman to be nominated for Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates". 8News. 2019-11-09. Retrieved 2019-11-09.
  18. ^ https://wset.com/news/local/virginia-gubernatorial-candidate-kirk-cox-says-ralph-northam-administration-failed-virginians
  19. ^ a b c "The Virginia Elections and State Elected Officials Database Project, 1776-2008". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  20. ^ "1995 Election Results - HOD". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  21. ^ "1997 Election Results - HOD". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  22. ^ "Election Results - House of Delegates - Nov 1999 Gen Election". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2012-12-28. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  23. ^ "General Election- November 6, 2001". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on December 29, 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  24. ^ "General Election- November 4, 2003". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  25. ^ "General Election- November 8, 2005". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  26. ^ "November 6, 2007 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  27. ^ "November 2009 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  28. ^ "November 2011 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  29. ^ "Virginia Elections Database » 2013 House of Delegates General Election District 66". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  30. ^ "Virginia Elections Database » 2015 House of Delegates General Election District 66". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  31. ^ "2017 November General". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  32. ^ "2019 November General". Retrieved Aug 25, 2020.
Virginia House of Delegates
Preceded by
Chip Dicks
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 66th district

1990–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Morgan Griffith
Majority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates
2010–2018
Succeeded by
Todd Gilbert
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Howell
Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates
2018–2020
Succeeded by
Eileen Filler-Corn