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Terrance John Cox[1] (born July 18, 1963) is an American engineer, businessman, and politician serving as the U.S. Representative from California's 21st congressional district. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

TJ Cox
TJ Cox, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 21st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byDavid Valadao
Personal details
Terrance John Cox

(1963-07-18) July 18, 1963 (age 55)
Walnut Creek, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Kathleen Murphy
EducationUniversity of Nevada, Reno (BS)
Southern Methodist University (MBA)
WebsiteHouse website


Early life and careerEdit

Cox was born in Walnut Creek, California. His father, who taught chemical engineering,[2] immigrated from China and his mother is from the Philippines.[3] He received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the Mackay School of Mines at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1986 [4] and later attained his MBA from Southern Methodist University.[5] He started two businesses that process nuts.[6] He also managed a community development enterprise.[7]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit



Cox ran for the United States House of Representatives in California's 19th congressional district in the 2006 elections. Cox lost to George Radanovich.[8]


In the 2018 elections, Cox again ran for the United States House of Representatives, this time in California's 21st congressional district.[9] Cox began this congressional bid in 2017, competing in California's 10th district primary race (CA-10) against several other Democratic candidates.

However, Democrat Emilio Huerta (the only Democratic challenger in CA-21) withdrew from the CA-21 race immediately prior to the filing deadline to appear on the primary election ballot.[10][11] Cox withdrew from the CA-10 race to instead run in CA-21 against incumbent Representative David Valadao.[11] He and Valadao advanced from the June 5 top-two primary election to the November 6 general election.[12]

On election night, and for several days after the election, Valadao had more votes, but Cox's vote count pulled into the lead on November 26.[13] By November 28, major news sources called the race for Cox, with Valadao conceding the race the following week. Cox's victory was considered an upset, as most election forecasters rated Valadao as the favorite.[14][15][16][17]

Committee assignmentsEdit

Caucus membershipsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Cox has four children with his wife, pediatrician Kathleen Murphy.[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Taub, David (May 30, 2018). "Issues Matter, Not Pelosi, as TJ Cox Talks Congressional Run". Fresno, California: GV Wire.
  2. ^ "Filipino American Candidates Make Runoffs in Legislative Races". Los Angeles: Rafu Shimpo. June 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Varona, Rae Ann (August 5, 2018). "Obama endorses Fil-Am TJ Cox for Congress". Asian Journal. Born in Walnut Creek, California to immigrant parents — his mother Perla De Castro from the Philippines, and half-Chinese father from China — Cox is among several congressional Filipino candidates who advanced to California’s general elections.
  4. ^ "Candidate Conversation - TJ Cox (D)". Inside Elections. August 31, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  5. ^ Martin, Ed (October 3, 2018). "Political profile: Democratic candidate TJ Cox has an uphill climb against Rep. Valadao in 21st District". The Leader. Lemoore, California.
  6. ^ Barabak, Mark Z.; Sweedler, Maya (November 26, 2018). "Democrat TJ Cox grabs lead over Republican David Valadao in nation's last undecided House race". Los Angeles Times. Cox, 55, is an engineer by training and local business owner who founded two nut-processing companies.
  7. ^ Burger, James (March 6, 2018). "Fresno community development leader TJ Cox to take on Rep. David Valadao". The Bakersfield Californian.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Appleton, Rory (March 6, 2018). "TJ Cox to run against David Valadao for Congress". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  10. ^ Appleton, Rory (March 2, 2018). "Emilio Huerta drops out of congressional race against David Valadao". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Tolan, Casey (March 8, 2018). "Candidates wanted: Can Dems conquer Central Valley congressional seat?". The Mercury News. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  12. ^ Ulloa, Jazmine (June 5, 2018). "GOP Rep. David Valadao, Democrat TJ Cox advance in bid for Central Valley's 21st District". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  13. ^ Appleton, Rory (November 26, 2018). "Cox now leading Valadao after Kern County update". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  14. ^ Mark Z. Barabak (November 28, 2018). "TJ Cox beats Republican Rep. David Valadao to give Democrats gain of 40 House seats, seven in California". Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ Rakich, Nathaniel (November 27, 2018). "The Last Unresolved House Race Of 2018". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 29, 2018. (Note: Despite the title of this article, North Carolina's 9th congressional district remained unresolved after California's 21st congressional district was resolved.)
  16. ^ Grace Segers (December 6, 2018). "Republican David Valadao concedes in contested California House race". CBS news. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  17. ^ Schneider, Elena (December 1, 2018). "Inside the GOP's California nightmare". Politico. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  18. ^ Martin, Ed (April 24, 2018). "Local seniors gather for "Bowzer" and to question congressional candidates". The Leader. Lemoore, California.

External linksEdit