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Sweet blog special: Chicago's own--John Cox, longshot GOP presidential candidate.


WASHINGTON--People in the Chicago area may, if they are devoted political junkies, recognize the name John Cox. The native South Sider has been in electoral politics since 2000. Before his 2008 GOP presidential primary bid, he ran for Cook County Recorder of Deeds; the U.S. House from the north suburban 10th district and the U.S. Senate.

Cox is a wealthy attorney who raised his goal from Cook County office to the White House this time around. So far, he has poured $935,000 of his own money into his presidential bid. His campaign has spent $937,162 as of June 30. While he is a long, long, long shot barely registering in polls, Cox argues that within the large field there are other contenders doing as poorly as he and they get to be in GOP debates. Cox has been pushing to get into the next GOP debate, Aug. 5 in Iowa sponsored by ABC News. He had three former governors making calls on his behalf, he said. While Cox will be in the pay-to-play Iowa straw poll, the Illinois GOP party will not let him in the Illinois straw poll because he does not meet the rules the party set up to determine who is allowed to participate, which include getting five points in a poll or being in a previous debate.

Click for Cox release...

release from the Cox campaign.....

Former Governors, Presidential Candidate says Cox Should Be in Aug. 5th Debate

(DES MOINES, IA) – Two influential four-term former Iowa Governors - Governors Terry Branstad and Robert Ray - and former presidential candidate Governor James Gilmore, have called ABC News to request that GOP Presidential Candidate John Cox be allowed in the upcoming August 5th Republican debate. The Governors just informed the Cox campaign of their phone calls on his behalf.

“In my year and a half of heavy campaigning in Iowa and other states, Governors Gilmore, Ray and Branstad have come to know me very well,” said GOP Presidential candidate John Cox. “We have had numerous discussions together on the issues and they know what my candidacy stands for. I am grateful to have these outstanding public servants rally to my defense and ask ABC to allow me to participate in the August 5th debate. It’s a question of fairness.”

Recent Iowa county straw poll results are surprising some political insiders – who are seeing some well-known national GOP candidates bested by the dark horse candidacy of Cox – the Chicago businessman and self-made millionaire who turned around Midwest potato chip manufacturer, Jays Foods. Despite Cox’s poll numbers, ABC’s Political Director, David Chalian, decided last week against allowing Cox into the August 5th debate. ABC is the media sponsor of the debate.

The latest straw poll in Madison County, IA had John Cox at 13% - 1% point behind Rudy Guiliani and ahead of Fred Thompson and John McCain. In a May 12-16, 2007 Des Moines Register poll, John Cox had 1% - the same as Duncan Hunter and more than Ron Paul. Cox has had strong showings in most of the Iowa counties, with support is at or exceeding those already being included in the upcoming August 5th GOP Presidential debate.

“The people of Iowa are speaking loud and clear,” said GOP Candidate John Cox. “They are unsatisfied with the Republican party’s current slate of candidates for President. They want someone who isn’t a career politician and beholden to the special interests. Bare minimum, that point of view deserves to be represented at the debate. This is about democracy. Pure and simple.”

With some of the GOP frontrunners shunning Iowa, Cox had this to say, “Iowa is part of America’s heartland. It concerns me that any front runner for President - Romney, Guiliani, and McCain - would discount the Midwest and its tremendous influence in the presidential process.” To date, Cox has made twenty-five separate campaign trips to Iowa and has visited all of its 99 counties.

James Stuart "Jim" Gilmore III was Governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002. He recently withdrew from the 2008 election race for president.


Des Moines Register Poll. In a May 12-16, 2007 Des Moines Register poll, John Cox had 1% - the same as Duncan Hunter and Jim Gilmore and more than Ron Paul, all of whom have been invited to participate in the New Hampshire debate at this point.

South Carolina Presidential Straw Polls. In South Carolina, John Cox defeated Tom Tancredo, Tommy Thompson, Jim Gilmore, Sam Brownback, and Ron Paul overall in the County Republican Party Presidential Straw Polls that were conducted in April 2007. Also in South Carolina, John Cox came in 1st place in the Aiken County Republican Party Presidential Straw Poll, and placed 2nd in the McCormick County Straw Poll.

Iowa Republican Chairman Survey. In Iowa, the website conducted a survey of all of the County Republican Chairmen asking them who they would be willing to support for President. John Cox placed 5th in this survey.

Campaign Organization. Our campaign has a vast network of paid staff and volunteers in New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina. We have campaign organizations established in more than 30 states. John Cox has campaigned extensively in those states over the past 14 months, spending over 60 days in New Hampshire, 90 days in Iowa and 40 days in South Carolina - more than just about all the other candidates. According to FEC Campaign Disclosures, John Cox has spent more than $800,000 on this campaign, more than most of the other candidates included in the June 5th debate.

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For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Laura Grock at (312) 943-1100 X 13. To contact Dan Herren, National Campaign Chairman, phone: 864-230-5334; E-mail:


Has anyone called Gilmore and the other two governors to fact-check this news release? This campaign, and this fringe candidate, has a history of lying to reporters.

It's odd that any elected officials would go out on a limb for a candidate whose fundraising totals are in the THOUSANDS, despite having campaigned for 17 months straight without a break.

His performance in straw polls is abomitable, and NOT what is being advertised in this release. Cox got ZERO votes in the PA state straw poll in July, one vote in the Crawford Co. Straw Poll (out of 150+ cast) two weeks ago, he won four votes in the statewide Iowa Poll in May, recieved four votes out of 400 in the GA Liberty Caucus straw poll, and won four votes out of 294 in a NH straw poll in July.

This guy is VERY fringe, and has no business on the stage with the others.


One more GOP gander polling ever so feebly to join that aimless gaggle of politically infirmed lobotomized Reagan-ites determined to vex and impair the legitimate candidacy of the one truly suitable Republican contender, Mr. Ron Paul.

It must really suck to be a decent Republican these days! This GOP Party shame is greater than decent Republicans should ever be cursed to bear. OH, THE HUMANITY!!!!

Rep. Paul isn't a suitable contender. Every American either supports the war in Iraq or supports the terrorists. He's on the wrong side.

At least some people in the Chicago area should remember John Cox, from past campaigns... That type of name recognition is something he could definitely use, in other parts of this state - not to mention other parts of the country.

Mr. Cox is a principled and knowledgable conservative, and was actually the first candidate to formally announce, for President of the United States. He is a sharp and intelligent candidate, with solid ideals and impressive business credentials. He should definitely have been included in the Republican Presidential Debates, and should be included in upcoming debates and candidate forums.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 2, 2007 8:44 AM.

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