Richard Nixon’s grandson says family legacy isn’t a hindrance to congressional run

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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His grandfather resigned in disgrace from the presidency, but Chris Nixon Cox says he doesn’t think his family history will be a hindrance in his race for a New York congressional seat.

“People loved my grandfather, but they want to hear what I have to say,” Cox, a Republican, told Neil Cavuto on Fox News while talking about former President Richard Nixon. “They talk to me and hear how I’m going to create jobs and cut taxes. And they like me for who I am and that’s a part of our campaign.”

Cox, 30, is running for the seat held by four term congressman Rep. Tim Bishop, a Democrat, in a district that encompasses eastern Long Island and wealthy enclaves such as the Hamptons. He is the son of Tricia Nixon Cox and New York State GOP Chairman Edward Cox. He’s a lawyer who started a consulting business, who also worked on John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008. He will face about six other GOP challengers in the September primary.

The Republican says he’s the first in his family to throw his hat in the political arena since his grandfather. And though he says he would describe the late president’s views as a “mixture” of conservative and liberal, there’s no question where Cox falls. “Today the Obama administration, some of the worst things they’re doing is regulating businesses. Throwing a bunch of new regulations on us. That’s hard to take. I’ve seen the bite of the tax man. That worries me.”

When Cavuto asked him if he shares his grandfather’s paranoia, Cox lightheartedly responded: “Are you saying I look paranoid?” He went on to say that being a Nixon is “a big help.”

“Like I said, a lot of people liked my grandfather.”

Not all agree. “The name Nixon does not exactly evoke a positive image among all voters,” said Lawrence Levy, the head of Hofstra University’s National Center on Suburban Studies, in an Associated Press interview. “Among a lot of voters, Nixon means Watergate and Watergate means disgrace.”

Cox says he remembers his grandfather well. “I remember we went to lots of baseball games together and played basketball together. I tell you, he had a mean shot from the top of the key.”

He isn’t the only presidential grandson from that era running for office this year. Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter,won a special election for a Georgia state senate seat earlier this week.

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