John Cox (Oklahoma)

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John Cox
John Cox.jpg
Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction
Former Candidate
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sNortheastern State University
Master'sNortheastern State University
Ph.D.Oklahoma State University
ProfessionSuperintendent of Peggs school district
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John Cox was a Democratic candidate for Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction in the 2014 elections. John Cox (Oklahoma) lost the general election on November 4, 2014.


Cox currently serves as superintendent of Peggs school district in Cherokee County.[1] An educator for 28 years and School Superintendent for 20 years, Cox also currently serves as adjunct professor of education at Northeastern State University.[2]


  • Doctorate (ED.D) in Educational Administration, Oklahoma State University
  • Educational Specialist (ED.S), Oklahoma State University
  • Master's Degree in Counseling, Northeastern State University
  • Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics Education, Northeastern State University



See also: Oklahoma down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Cox ran for election to the office of Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction. Cox came in first in the Democratic primary and won the runoff with Freda Deskin on August 26.[1] The general election takes place on November 4, 2014.


Primary election
Oklahoma Superintendent, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Cox 41% 68,889
Green check mark transparent.pngFreda Deskin 38.2% 64,135
Jack Herron 13.3% 22,335
Ivan Holmes 7.4% 12,504
Total Votes 167,863
Election Results via Oklahoma State Election Board.
Primary runoff
Oklahoma Superintendent, Democratic Primary Runoff, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Cox 62.9% 60,370
Freda Deskin 37.1% 35,621
Total Votes 95,991
Election Results via Oklahoma State Board of Elections.
General election
Oklahoma Superintendent, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJoy Hofmeister Incumbent 55.8% 457,053
     Democratic John Cox 44.2% 361,878
Total Votes 818,931
Election Results via Oklahoma State Election Board.

Race background

As in other superintendent races across the country, the national debate over the Common Core educational benchmarks inspired many candidates to throw their hat in the ring to challenge the incumbent, Republican Janet Barresi. This issue gained prominence when Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a law repealing Common Core standards in Oklahoma, becoming one of the earliest states to take such a step.[3]

Barresi faced a serious challenge from educator Joy Hofmeister in the primary. While Hofmeister had raised almost $1.5 million by the primary, Barresi only kept pace by loaning over $1.25 million to her campaign.[4][5] Both Barresi and Hofmeister, along with most of the other superintendent candidates in both parties, opposed Common Core and tried to pin its implementation on one another in attack ads.[6] In a debate on June 17 that included Hofmeister and the Democratic candidates, all of the candidates expressed opposition to Common Core and support for a change in educational culture.[7] In total, there were three Republicans and four Democrats contesting the superintendent primaries on June 24.

Hofmeister defeated Barresi in the Republican primary, receiving enough votes to avoid a runoff, and faced Democratic candidate John Cox in the general election.

Primary polling

2014 Democratic primary for Oklahoma Superintendent
Poll Jack C. Herron Jr. John CoxFreda DeskinIvan HolmesUnsureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Sooner Poll
May 5-10, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

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