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I Know All About Crooked Pols — I'm From Chicago, Says Calif. Gov. Hopeful

By DNAinfo Staff | July 27, 2017 6:30am | Updated on July 28, 2017 11:33am
 Former Gold Coast resident John Cox is running for governor of California.
Former Gold Coast resident John Cox is running for governor of California.
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CHICAGO — President Donald Trump isn't the only politician scoring points with his supporters by beating up on Chicago.

A GOP candidate for governor of California is using his experience as the son of a Chicago schoolteacher as his bonafides in railing against political corruption.

"My mom was a Chicago public school teacher. I witnessed the effects of corruption firsthand growing up," John H. Cox, a former Gold Coast resident, said in the latest rip, this one to the New York Times. "There were many principals who got their jobs because they were friends of the alderman."

Cox describes his mom as "a liberal Democrat and a union member, but she hated that corrupt system because it put politics ahead of students. That really, really formed me."

Described on his campaign website as "a Jack Kemp-style Republican who grew up on Chicago's South Side," Cox said politics are corrupted by the influence of special interest money — "something he first learned from his mother, a public school teacher who saw the corruption under Chicago’s Daley machine."

His mother, Priscilla, worked in an unidentified high school that he has described as "one of the toughest on the South Side of Chicago."

The campaign did not return a message on the identity of the school.

Speaking to the San Bernardino Republican Women Federated at a dinner at Elks Lodge last month, Cox said, “I was born on the South Side of Chicago. There were a lot of bad people, a lot of political corruption. But California has become more corrupt than Illinois.”

An attorney and venture capitalist, Cox moved to San Diego County about nine years ago, according to the Los Angeles Times. He has spent $3 million of his own money on the California race so far.

While living in Illinois in Glenview, Cox ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House in 2000. He also made losing bids for the U.S. Senate in 2002, the Cook County Recorder of Deeds in 2004 and president of the United States in 2008.

Asked in 2003 about his hunger for political office, Cox, then described as a Gold Coast businessman, told the Sun-Times: "As long as I feel that there is somewhat of a receptive reception of my ideas, I'm going to continue. The crime is not in running and losing. The crime is in not trying at all to help the situation."