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House of Representatives primary candidate Dr. Kermit Jones speaks to Indian Valley voters at Gigi’s Market on April 30. Photo by Meg Upton

Candidate for Congress Dr. Kermit Jones tours Plumas County

By Meg Upton

Dr. Kermit Jones—the only Democratic candidate running in the primary for the newly drawn 3rd Congressional District—did a whistle stop tour through Plumas County on Saturday, April 30. Plumas News caught up with the campaign at Gigi’s Market.

 “Dr. Kermit” shared his personal history with those that came out to meet the candidate. He’s both a practicing medical doctor and a veteran of the U.S. Navy where he was a flight surgeon.  During the Obama Administration he served as a White House Fellow and worked with the Secretary of Health and Human Services to improve veteran care. He hails from rural Michigan where his family had a small farm and his mother worked as a nurse.

He sees his candidacy as a way to heal political divides.

 “For me, it’s never been about partisan politics. I’ve treated close to 20,000 patients and I never ask if they are a Democrat or a Republican,” said Dr. Jones.

Dr. Jones spoke to a room full of Indian Valley residents who voiced their questions and concerns about the priorities for the newly carved out district. Residents’ questions involved health care, federal fire insurance, and economic development in rural northeastern California. Dr. Jones had well-thought out responses to each of those concerns and noted that his campaign shared those same concerns.

The possibility of a federal fire insurance program similar to the flood insurance program that already exists on the federal level sparked interest with the Indian Valley residents at the tour stop. He also acknowledged fire recovery that takes new approaches to National Forest management being needed.

His major focal point in his discussion however was quality of affordable healthcare—something he sees daily in his work as a physician. He’d like to work for better comprehensive coverage that includes preventative medicine, mental health, dental, eye, and hearing, and lower prescription drug costs.

He championed efforts to bring educational programs that help produce jobs and retain residents in the region to work them.

He also advocated for a citizen scholar program (similar to military service) for young people to have a better sense of community responsibility.

The firs- time political candidate picked up endorsements this week from the Peace Officers Research Association of California, and has picked up many labor and veteran group endorsements (VoteVets and New Politics). Polling in the district put Jones at a 1 percent difference with Republican candidate Kevin Kiley.

Dr. Jones visited Quincy and Chester and toured downtown Greenville briefly.

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