SELMA – The new representative for California’s 21st District, Congressman TJ Cox, was sworn in during a ceremony at the Selma Arts Center Feb. 2. Cox was sworn in by Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria.
“This victory belongs to all the people of the 21st Congressional District,” Cox said on his social media website. “I made it to Congress thanks to each and every one of you. Your priorities will always be my priorities.”
Cox, a Democrat, came from behind during the November midterm election to beat out the six-year incumbent, Republican Congressman David Valadao from Hanford. The 21st Congressional District includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties.
In a statement released after the ceremony, Cox said he takes the responsibility of representing the Central Valley as an obligation to fight for its interests in Washington, D.C.
“We’ve come to Washington with a divided government and a divided nation. The challenges facing our country are steep - but like so many of us, I am no stranger to tough challenges. Now is the time for bold leadership and bold ideas, and to recommit to the values that actually made our country great.
A native of California, Cox is the son of Chinese and Filipino immigrants. His father, a professor of chemical engineering, inspired him to pursue a career in engineering. His mother, an early trailblazer in the fight for equality and a survivor of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, served as one of the first equal employment opportunity officers in Nevada.
“My parents came to this country because they knew that they could build a better life for their children here in America. Our district is defined by folks like my parents - immigrants willing to do whatever it takes so that their children might struggle just a little less, and reach yet a little higher. Arriving in California all those years ago, my parents could never have imagined that their son might one day serve in Congress. To have my mother with me today, next to my wife and children, as I swore my oath means more than anything to me.”
Cox holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. He is married to Dr. Kathleen Murphy, a pediatric intensive care physician at Valley Children's Hospital. They have four children.