John Cornyn III (born February 2, 1952) is the junior United States Senator for Texas, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. He was elected Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 111th U.S. Congress.
Early life and law career
Cornyn was born in Houston to Atholene Gale (née Danley) and John Cornyn II.He graduated from Trinity University in 1973, where he majored in journalism and was a member of the local fraternity Chi Delta Tau.He earned a J.D. from St. Mary's University School of Law in 1977 and an LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1995.
He served in San Antonio for six years as a district judge before being elected as a Republican in 1990 to the Texas Supreme Court, where he served for seven years.
From 1999 to 2002, John Cornyn was the Texas Attorney General, the first of thus far only two Republicans to have held the position. In 2005, Cornyn's name was mentioned among possibilities to replace Supreme Court justices Sandra Day O'Connor or William Rehnquist.
U.S. Senate career
In the 2002 U.S. Senate Primary in Texas, AG Cornyn was the candidate promoted and supported by the Texas Republican Party in the Primary election. Cornyn easily defeated the five other candidates in the Republican Primary while disdaining the opportunity to debate the other candidates. Bruce Rusty Lang, a self-financed Dallas based international physician, in the Republican Primary election by a ten to one electoral margin. In the 2002 General election Candidate Cornyn defeated Democrat Ron Kirk, a former Dallas Mayor, in a campaign which cost each candidate over $18,000,000. USD (Eighteen Million U.S. Dollars). In 2004, Cornyn co-founded and became the co-chairman of the U.S. Senate India Caucus. Cornyn was selected by his colleagues in December 2006 to be a member of the five-person Republican Senate leadership team as Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. In 2005, Project on Government Oversight, a government watchdog group, presented Cornyn and Senator Patrick Leahy with its first ever Bi-Partisan Leadership Award in honor of their cooperation on issues of government oversight and transparency, including their co-sponsorship of the OPEN Government Act of 2005, which prevented burying exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act in legislation. Cornyn has been described by Jim Jubak of MSN Money as one of "Big Oil's ten favorite members of Congress," as he has received more money from the oil and gas industry than all but six other members of Congress. Cornyn opposed President Barack Obama's health reform legislation; he voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009, and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
Cornyn defeated his closest Republican challenger,
Cornyn and his wife, Sandy Hansen, have two daughters.
Cornyn gained national attention when he released a video referring to himself as "Big Bad John". The video was featured on comedy shows such as The Colbert Report and The Daily Show. In 1999, Cornyn, as state attorney general, awarded "Lawman of the Year" to free-lance, discredited undercover officer Tom Coleman, for his work in Tulia, Texas. This work resulted in the "Tulia 46" scandal.