California state Senator Dave Cox dies after long illness |

California state Senator Dave Cox dies after long illness

FAIR OAKS, Calif. – State Senator Dave Cox passed away Tuesday at the age of 72, leaving local community members immediately noticing a void in the legislature.

Cox, R-Fair Oaks, represented the First State Senate District, which iincludes Truckee and Tahoe, stretching along the eastern side of the state from the Oregon State line down to Inyo County. According to a press release from his office, he passed away after a 13-year battle with prostate cancer.

“Our beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away peacefully at home Tuesday,” said his family in the statement Tuesday. “A devoted family man, he always found time to serve his community and constituents. Dave took great pride in public service and making government work for the people it serves.”

Senator Cox worked with many local residents from environmental policies to health care bills.

“Sen. Cox was a staunch supporter of our Lake Tahoe community and we’re extremely thankful for his service on our behalf,” said Julie Regan, external affairs director for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

“Regardless of your political leanings, he really served the area,” said Maia Schneider, community outreach coordinator with the Tahoe Forest Health System. “Most recently, he submitted legislation that would affect Tahoe Forest Hospital District and one other hospital. He submitted the legislation while he was wrapped in a blanket. He’s sorely going to missed.”

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Nevada County Supervisor Ted Owens said he counted Cox as one of his political mentors, and will miss him.

“Dave Cox to me was one of the finest people I’ve ever known,” Owens said. “He had such a high level of integrity that this is a true loss for Truckee, Eastern Nevada County and his entire district … He was the gold standard of public servant.”

In a statement Tuesday, State Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, said Cox leaves behind a legacy of public service to the Sacramento region and all Californians.

“On a personal level, I enjoyed working side by side with Dave during these past four years as we fought hard together for the interests of the constituents we were both privileged to represent. I learned a great deal from Dave and appreciate the counsel he gave me over the years. My thoughts and prayers go out to Maggie and the entire Cox family during this very difficult time,” Gaines said in the statement.

Senator Cox is survived by his wife of 44 years, Maggie; daughters Cathleen, Margo, and Sarah; six grandchildren; and his beloved dog, Rudy.

Cox was first elected to the State Senate in 2004, and re-elected in 2008.

He served as the chair of the Senate Local Government Committee and the vice-chair of the Appropriations Committee.

He was first elected to the State Assembly in 1998.

The Cox family requests that all cards and messages be sent to Senator Cox’s Capital office. Staff will deliver them to the family.

In lieu of flowers, the Cox family asks that donations be made to the Dave and Maggie Cox Scholarship Fund with the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, located at 740 University, Suite 110, Sacramento, CA 95825.

Memorial services are pending.

– Ryan Slabaugh and Greyson Howard contributed to this report.