Byron Cook was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2002 and is privileged to represent the hard-working citizens of House District 8, which includes Anderson, Freestone, Hill and Navarro counties.
At the beginning of the 85th Legislative Session, Representative Cook was re-appointed chair of the House Committee on State Affairs for the third time. The committee has a diverse and broad jurisdiction over a myriad of critical issues to our state including: right to life matters, utility regulation, the management of state agencies, immigration and the administration of state government. He continues to serve on the House Calendars Committee, of which he has been a member since 2009.
He has previously served as chair of the House Committee on Environmental Regulation, the House Committee on Civil Practices and as the vice-chair of the Local and Consent Calendars Committee.
Texas Monthly named Cook the #1 best legislator of 2017 citing: "…his ability, as the conscience of the House, to sway fellow lawmakers with moving speeches, a rare trait in the era of echo-chamber politics. In general, his moderation, level-headedness, and genuineness helped prevent the session from becoming even more divisive than it already was."
Cook also served six years on the Sunset Advisory Commission, a 12-member body responsible for the periodic review of the functionality and efficiency of state agencies. This tenure gave him a unique insight into preserving resources to address the critical needs of the state, and furthered his commitment to judiciously allocating taxpayer dollars. He authored and passed legislation that helped the state recover over a half-billion dollars in previously uncollected alcohol and tobacco tax revenue. For his leadership on this landmark legislation, then Texas Comptroller Susan Combs presented Cook with the 2014 True Texas Hero Award.
The Corsicana and Navarro County Chamber of Commerce presented Cook with the prestigious Tom White Citizen of the Year Award in 2015. This is given annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution through a demonstrated commitment to the highest community ideals and service.
Some other leadership awards that he has been honored to receive include the "Courageous Defense of Life Award" and the "Defender of Life Award" presented for his work and advocacy on numerous pro-life legislative initiatives. Moreover, he was honored with the Patient Advocacy Award from the Texas Medical Association and was recognized by the Republican Party of Texas for his leadership in their "Texas House Debt-Busters" program.
A businessman and rancher, he and his wife, Kay, live in Corsicana and have two daughters. Both daughters graduated from Texas A&M University, and their oldest daughter is married and has a son and a daughter.