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Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones vying for seat in 3rd Congressional District

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones announced Monday he is running in California's 3rd Congressional District.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones announced Monday he is running as a Republican in California's 3rd Congressional District.

"I will fight for law and order in America, stand up against the ‘Defund the Police’ movement and secure our border. It’s time to put the safety of America and Americans first again," Jones wrote in a Facebook post.

Jones began his career at the Sheriff's department in 1989, starting as a security officer. As a deputy, he worked in corrections, patrol, and legal affairs, even serving seven years as a legal advisor. He became Sacramento County Sheriff in 2010, and in October 2021, he announced that will not be seeking re-election as Sheriff in 2022. Now, he's vying for a seat in Congress.

"I still have some gas in the tank to serve, and I look at what's happening nationally with the law and order people not feeling safe, the riots, just people not feeling safe," Jones said.

This will be Jone's second run for Congress. In 2016, he lost by less than a 3% margin in a challenge against then-incumbent Representative Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove).

Jones, whose career spans more 3 decades in law enforcement, says he'll focus on law and order. His key issues include public safety, crime, immigration and drug trafficking.

The 3rd District includes the foothill cities of Roseville, Auburn, Grass Valley. Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and runs much of the California - Nevada state line from Sierra County to Inyo County.

Jones see an opportunity in the area  but so does Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley. He announced in early January that he is also going to run for Congress in the 3rd District.

Morgan Rynor, ABC10's political anchor, says Jones is facing stiff competition.

"He's not going to have an easy fight, because Kevin Kiley is running... and based off sheer numbers on social media, Kevin Kiley has a lot more name recognition right now," Rynor said.

Assemblymember Kiley has over 84,000 followers and a strong Republican base behind him after running for a state-wide seat in the governor recall election last year. He built a reputation by being one of the governor's staunchest critics.

"I'm going to fight. I'm going to oppose radical policies. I'm going to fight corruption, but I'm going to also build bridges where I can for the benefit of my constituents," Kiley said.

Rynor says the candidates might have to try and appeal to both Republicans and Democrats to claim this seat.

"When you have that slim of a margin, bipartisanship is going to play a big role," Rynor said.

Jones will also face Democrat Dr. Kermit Jones, a doctor and veteran from Roseville, in the spring primary.

Republican Congressman Tom McClintock, who has represented some of the areas the new 3rd District covers announced last week that he will run in the new 5th District in the Central Valley.

On the national scale, Republicans only have to win a handful of seats to take back the house entirely.

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