Kenny Ray Cox

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Kenny Ray Cox

Louisiana State Representative
for District 23
Assumed office 
January 9, 2012
Preceded by Rick Nowlin

Born October 2, 1957
Place of birth missing
Nationality African American
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Candie Cox
Children Four children
Residence Mansfield, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana
Alma mater Red River Senior High School
(Coushatta, Louisiana)

Northwestern State University
United States Army Command and General Staff College

Occupation Retired United States Army officer
Religion Christian

Kenny Ray Cox (born October 2, 1957)[1] is a retired United States Army lieutenant colonel from Mansfield, Louisiana, who is an African-American Democrat state representative for Natchitoches, Red River, and DeSoto parishes in the northwestern portion of his state.


Cox graduated in 1975 from Red River Senior High Schoo] then known as Coushatta High School, in Coushatta, the seat of government for Red River Parish.[2] He received a bachelor's degree from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff Colleg at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Army Comptroller School. Cox lists his church affiliation as Christian. He and his wife, Candie, have four children.[1]

Political life

In the general election held on November 19, 2011, Cox unseated the one-term Republican incumbent, Rick Nowlin of Natchitoches, who subsequently was elected a year later in 2012 as the first administrative President of Natchitoches Parish. Cox polled 5,556 votes (53.4 percent) to Nowlin's 4,847 (46.6 percent). Nowlin managed to carry Natchitoches Parish but lost decisively to Cox in DeSoto and Red River parishes.[3]

In the October 22 primary, Nowlin had narrowly led with 5,662 votes (43.6 percent), and Cox trailed with 5,506 votes (42.4 percent). Another Democrat, Ralph Wilson, who also sought the seat in 2007, held the remaining but critical 1,805 ballots (13.9 percent).[4] Nowlin's defeat is attributed in part to his District 23 having become a majority African- American district in the 2011 redistricting based upon the 2010 census.[5]

In 2007, Cox ran unsuccessfully in House District 7 against the Republican Richard Burford of Stonewall in DeSoto Parish, who was subsequently re-elected in the 2011 primary and became for a time a colleague of Cox. Burford left the House ro run unsuccessfully for the state Senate seat vacated by the term-limited Moderate Republican, Sherri Smith Buffington.

Representative Cox is a member of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, the Rural Caucus, and the Democratic Caucus. He sits on these committees: (1) Commerce, (2) Health and Welfare, (3) Labor and Industrial Relations, (4) Military and Veterans Affairs.[1]

Though Cox sports ratings under 20 percent from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, he is ranked 100 percent by Louisiana Right to Life. In 2014, he co-sponsored the requirement that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges near their clinics. That same year, he voted to extend the time for implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. In 2013, he voted to increase judicial pay and for lifetime concealed carry gun permits. In 2012, he voted to prohibit the use of cell phones while driving and opposed the use of state tax incentives to recruit a National Basketball Association team to Louisiana. In 2012, he opposed the requirement for drug testing of welfare recipients and supported a reduction in the number of hours that polling locations remain open.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kenny Ray Cox. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on December 28, 2020.
  2. "Cox runs for State Representative," The Sabine Index, accessed October 24, 2011; no longer on-line.
  3. Louisiana Secretary of State, General Election Returns, November 19, 2011.
  4. Louisiana Secretary of State, Primary Election Returns, October 22, 2011.
  5. "Hazel re-elected in House Distrrict 27; Harris wins House District 25," Alexandria Town Talk, October 23, 2011.
  6. Kenny Cox's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on December 28, 2020.