Political Science Graduates Elected for State Assembly and Congress

By Laila Rashid, CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
January 11, 2013

While the nation watched President Barack Obama accept a second term this past election, two UCR graduates, Anthony Rendon and Paul Cook, celebrated their own political victories on the statewide and congressional levels.

Anthony Rendon, an educator and non-profit executive director from Southeast Los Angeles, was recently elected to hold the seat in the 63rd district of the California Assembly.  After earning his Bachelors and Master of Arts degrees from Cal State Fullerton, he received his Ph.D. in political science from UCR and continued his work at Boston University. He served as the Interim Executive Director of the California League of Conservation Voters, and helped pass several legislative bills to improve environmental quality. Assemblyman Rendon is a former professor at CSUF and leads an early childhood education organization which offers no-cost educational and medical services to over 2,000 children. Thanks to the benefits of the low-cost yet high-quality public education he received, he recognizes “the impact that education, at any and all levels, can have on an individual and their family.”

Paul Cook, a retired U.S. Marine colonel, was recently elected to represent California’s new 8th congressional district. After 26 years of military service, he became mayor of the Yucca Valley, served in the California State Assembly, and taught history and political science at CSUSB, UCR, and Copper Mountain College. Congressman Cook earned his bachelor of science in education at Southern Connecticut State University, his master’s in political science from UCR, and his master’s in public administration from CSUSB. His passions for public safety, conservative fiscal policies, and veterans’ issues have largely inspired his service over the years. According to Congressman Cook, Americans “need leaders with the courage to stand on principle and fight for our values.” He has two children and currently resides in Yucca Valley along with his wife.

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