For other uses, see Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.

Rebecca Cohn (born March 30, 1954 in Vallejo, California) is an American politician who served as the California State Assembly member for the 24th District from 2001 to 2007. A resident of Saratoga, her district also included the Buena Vista, Burbank, Cambrian Park, and Fruitdale neighbourhoods of San Jose, the city of Campbell, parts of both unincorporated Santa Clara County, and the city of Santa Clara, as well as a section of the town of Los Gatos.[1] Cohn is a Democrat. She left office in 2007 because of term limits, and was succeeded by Jim Beall. In August 2008, she enrolled at the University of California, Davis School of Law (King Hall).


Born Rebecca Wilson, Cohn grew up in Fredericksburg, Texas. She has four brothers and while living in the Texas Hillcountry her brothers and her were frequent guests at the Lyndon Johnson Ranch. She graduated from Fredericksburg High School and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas in 1976. She converted to Judaism in anticipation of marriage to her first husband, a doctor. Cohn, divorced from entrepreneur Ron Cohn, lives in Campbell and has one son.

Before politics

As a management consultant, Cohn guided various companies in Silicon Valley and throughout the world through the adoption of new technologies and practices. She gained skills in negotiating labor and management disputes during her time in the private sector.

California Assembly

Cohn served as Assistant Majority Leader during her time in the Assembly. Cohn was a member of the committees on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media, Health, Public Safety, and the Utilities and Commerce. Cohn was instrumental in the development of the state's Medical Examiner competency exam and the establishment of treatment guidelines. She has been active on other boards including: the American Physical Therapy Association's Advisory Panel on Women, the Diversity Task, Force of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the Santa Clara Board of Supervisor's Domestic Violence Council, and the Board of Directors for the Support of Battered Women.


In 2004, she faced a lawsuit from former employees alleging they had been made to do campaign work on state time. In the same year, another employee claimed he was unjustly fired for writing a critical letter about her during a controversial software contract investigation. In 2005, Cohn came under heat for her spicy San Jose Magazine photo shoot that prompted two aides to sue her for allegedly creating a sexually charged work environment (they alleged that Cohn had required them to handle and hold Cohn's bras and panties during outfit changes for the photo shoot).[2] The California Legislature later settled the lawsuit on her behalf, without her consent. She admitted no fault and took no part in the settlement.

Electoral history

California State Assembly elections, 2000[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Rebecca Cohn 78,173 50.5
Republican Sue Jackson 69,825 45.0
Libertarian Ray Strong 7,000 4.5
Independent George Swenson 96 (write-in) 0.0
Total votes 155,094 100
Voter turnout  %
Democratic gain from Republican
California State Assembly elections, 2002[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Rebecca Cohn (incumbent) 69,992 100
Total votes 69,992 100
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold
California State Assembly elections, 2004[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Rebecca Cohn (incumbent) 94,152 59.5
Republican Ernie Konnyu 55,956 35.3
Libertarian Zander Y. Collier III 8,337 5.2
Independent Michael Roy 41 (write-in) 0.0
Independent Lawrence R. Hileman 7 (write-in) 0.0
Total votes 158,493 100
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold


  1. ^ California Assembly "Large Map of Assembly District 24," (retrieved on July 29th, 2009).
  2. ^ Metro Silicon Valley "The Fly: The Real Scoop on Cohn," (March 1st-7th 2006, retrieved on July 29th, 2009).
  3. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State "Member of the State Assembly," (retrieved on July 29th, 2009).
  4. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State "Member of the State Assembly," (retrieved on July 29th, 2009).
  5. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State "Member of the State Assembly," (retrieved on July 29th, 2009).
California Assembly
Preceded by
Jim Cunneen
California State Assemblywoman, 24th District
Succeeded by
Jim Beall