Assemblyman Brian Jones Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Editor’s note: Current District 77 Assemblyman Brian Jones (R, Santee) was in Idyllwild Friday, June 8. Jones led the voting in Tuesday’s primary for future District 71, which includes Idyllwild.


This was Jones’ first visit to Idyllwild and he plans to return again late this summer. Jones, his wife Heather, and three children reside in Santee. He is a former Santee City Councilman and was elected to the California Assembly in 2010.

In Tuesday’s primary election, Jones garnered 46 percent of the total vote. Democrat Patrick Hurley, also from San Diego County, was second. He collected 30.6 percent of the districtwide vote. John McLaughlin, Republican, finished third, but was the leading vote getter in Riverside County.

When asked if he was surprised with the Tuesday result from Riverside County, Jones replied, “That’s why I’m here. Obviously I need to introduce myself in Riverside.”

Overall, Jones felt the statewide results were positive for his fellow Republicans. He expects his party to add to its current 28 assembly members after the November election. He was instrumental in recruiting many of the new Republican candidates this year.

“Republicans are likely to pick up a minimum of two [assembly] seats and three or four are possible,” Jones said.

As of Monday afternoon, Proposition 29, the increase in cigarette taxes, is failing, but the 33,000 “No” vote lead will change and nearly 910,000 ballots remain to be counted, according to the California Secretary of State’s office.

Nevertheless, Jones sees this result along with the passage of municipal pension reform measures in San Diego and San Jose as a strong message from the state’s voters.

“Voters are paying attention,” he emphasized. “They’re telling the governor and legislature to scale back government.”

Although the latest statewide poll indicates the governor’s November tax initiative is still favored by the majority of voters, its lead is dwindling. Jones believes Proposition 29 results mean the success of the governor’s tax initiative does not look good.

“Only 12 percent of state [voters] are cigarette smokers. If the rest can’t get voters to pass a tax on them, how will they support overall tax initiative?” he asked.

Jones concludes that the voters’ message to Sacramento is to balance a budget before getting more money.

Nevertheless, he expects the Democratic legislature to enact a budget by the June 15 deadline. He’s unsure whether it will truly be balanced and, if not, whether the governor would ultimately sign it.

But he supported Proposition 25, which reduced the number of votes for passing a state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority. As a result, the majority party, currently the Democratic Party, is responsible for justifying and defending the budget. Jones believes that also makes them accountable to the public.