El Paso mayor’s support for DP benefits helps make him a finalist in World Mayor competition

El Paso Mayor John Cook

El Paso Mayor John Cook’s popularity for his stance on domestic partner benefits may earn him the title of world’s best mayor.

Cook’s efforts were not forgotten when it came time to nominate mayors for the World Mayor 2012 competition, sponsored by London-based think tank City Mayors Foundation. Thirteen of the 22 who wrote in support of Cook mentioned the benefits fight, according to the El Paso Times.

The City Council approved DP benefits in 2009, but the vote was overturned in a ballot measure led by anti-gay Pastor Tom Brown in 2010. Cook cast the tie-breaking vote last year to restore DP benefits, stirring Brown to begin a recall effort. A county judge ruled in Brown’s favor, but an appeals court later sided with Cook in February. Brown then appealed to the Texas Supreme Court but it’s doubtful the court will hear the case.

Cook is among five North American finalists and 25 worldwide for the award that recognizes a mayor’s achievements with a sculpture for commemoration. Votes and comments about the finalists’ achievements will be taken into consideration by the organization.

—  Anna Waugh