John Cornyn

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John Cornyn, III

Senior United States Senator from Texas
Assumed office 
December 2, 2002
Preceded by Phil Gramm

Texas State Attorney General
In office
January 1999 – December 2, 2002
Preceded by Daniel C. "Dan" Morales
Succeeded by Greg Abbott

Associate Justice of
the Texas Supreme Court
In office
January 2, 1991 – October 18, 1997
Preceded by Franklin Spears
Succeeded by Deborah Hankinson

Judge of the Texas
37th Judicial District Court
In office
January 1, 1985 – January 1, 1991
Preceded by Richard Woods
Succeeded by Ann-Marie Aaron

Born February 2, 1952
Houston, Texas, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sandy Cornyn
Children Two children
Alma mater Trinity University

St. Mary's University Law School
University of Virginia Law School

Occupation Attorney
Religion Church of Christ

John Cornyn, III (born February 2, 1952, in Houston, Texas), is the Moderate Republican senior United States Senator from Texas. He is considered a leader in the RINO wing of his party in contrast to his more conservative colleague, Ted Cruz.

Early life

John Cornyn III was born in 1952 to John Cornyn II and Atholene Dale Cornyn. His father was an air force officer, and he attended a high school in Japan at a U.S. base after his family moved there.[1]

Cornyn is a graduate of Trinity University and St. Mary's School of Law (both in San Antonio in Bexar County) and earned a Masters of Law from the University of Virginia Law School in Charlottesville. He was a state district court judge in Bexar County from 1985 to 1991.

Political career

In 1990, Cornyn was elected to the Texas Supreme Court. In 1998, he was elected state attorney general. After Republican Senator Phil Gramm announced his retirement Cornyn entered the race to succeed him, and defeated the Democratic nominee, Mayor Ron Kirk of Dallas, a liberal African-American. He was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2008 and in 2014, defeated conservatives Steve Stockman and Dwayne Stovall in the Republican senatorial primary for his third six-year term. Cornyn serves on the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Budget Committee, Finance Committee, and Judiciary Committee.

In 2017, Cornyn was named to the No. 2 position in the U.S. Senate, called the "Majority Whip." His Senate seat was once held by Lyndon B. Johnson, Johnson's permanent successor, John Tower, the first Republican senator from Texas since Reconstruction, and Phil Gramm, Cornyn's predecessor from 1985 to 2002.

RINO leanings

Although somewhat conservative in his first term,[2] Cornyn today is believed to be largely controlled by Republican Party moderates and liberals. However, his voting record indicates that he and his colleague from Texas, Ted Cruz (who, unlike Cornyn, is not considered a RINO), tend to vote the same way.

Todd Akin

See also: Rino Backers

As the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2012, Senator Cornyn pulled $5 million in spending out of the toss-up Missouri race because the embattled pro-life nominee, Todd Akin, spoke out too much for the unborn.

Russell Voight

In October 2017, Cornyn announced he would block the confirmation of Russ Vought, a strong conservative, to the important position of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget because he wanted the federal government to appropriate even more money than it already had for the state of Texas after a hurricane.[3][4][5][6]

Upcoming 2020 U.S. Senate election in Texas

In the primary held on March 3, 2020, Cornyn polled 1,481,357 unofficial votes (76 percent) and defeated four intra-party opponents. Mark Yancey, a largely unknown grass-roots candidate from Dallas who claimed to have been uncommitted to special interest groups and calls himself a "Common Sense Republican,"[7] faced a herculean task because of Cornyn's high name recognition among voters. He polled 118,362 votes (6.1 percent). Cornyn will henceforth face in the November 3 general election a Democratic senatorial candidate yet to be determined in a pending runoff between Mary "M.J." Hegar, who polled 412,897 votes (22.3 percent) and veteran state Senator Royce West, an African-American from Houston, who drew 269,028 (14.5 percent). Narrowly edged out of the Democratic runoff is the Hispanic activist Cristina Tzintzan Ramirez, who received 244,705 votes (13.2 percent).

Also in the Republican primary was a 2014 primary candidate, Dwayne Stovall, who finished second in 2020 with 231,294 votes (12 percent), slightly more percent-wise than he had polled against Cornyn in the earlier 2014 primary. Turnout in the Democratic Senate primary was 1,853,323 votes; all of the Republican Senate candidates received a total of 1,926,477 votes, or 73,000 more than the field of Democratic candidates.


  1. John Cornyn
  2. In 2006, The National Journal ranked Cornyn as the fourth most conservative Senator. [1]
  3. Wegmann, Philip (October 20, 2017). John Cornyn holds top White House nominee for ransom. Washington Examiner. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  4. Pandolfo, Chris (October 20, 2017). John Cornyn holds conservative nominee hostage for Swamp kickback. Conservative Review. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  5. Swan, Jonathan (October 19, 2017). John Cornyn holds up top White House nominee. Axios. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  6. Brian, Darling (October 23, 2017). Darling: John Cornyn Holds Trump’s OMB Pick Hostage to Extract Petty Revenge on Conservatives. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  7. Meet Mark Yancey (December 27, 2019).

External links