Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones will not seek re-election next year, he affirmed in a social media post Thursday.
The third-term sheriff has indicated previously that he would not run again. In February, he threw support behind Chief Deputy Jim Barnes to succeed him. Jones around that time told local TV news outlets, including Fox 40, that it was time for him to “step aside” and allow a new leader to take the helm.
Jones confirmed again, in a Thursday evening post to his public Facebook page, that he won’t seek re-election in 2022 and plans to retire from the Sheriff’s Office after completing his current term.
“Although I’ve had numerous discussions in various circles about my future intentions as the next Sheriff’s election comes around next year, it occurred to me that I have said nothing to the wider community or my Facebook supporters,” Jones wrote. “So let me say it here — I have decided NOT to seek re-election as Sheriff of Sacramento County next year, and instead retire after what will be over 33 years with the Sheriff’s Office, including 12 years as Sheriff!”
Jones wrote that his “unequivocal support” will be for Barnes, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office more than two decades.
Jones, 54, was first elected sheriff in 2010, then re-elected in 2014 and 2018. He said he doesn’t have plans to seek another public office, but he’s not ruling it out. Jones plans to remain on the political sidelines, rooting for elected leaders who support the causes he believes in. But he says he might decide to run for office again if he grows dissatisfied.
“As I stand here today, I have no interest in running for public office, frankly, but I will never say never,” Jones told a group of reporters Friday afternoon at the sheriff’s headquarters in North Sacramento.
He also said he doesn’t have any particular plans about looking for another job after his leaving the Sheriff’s Office.
“I may do something if it’s a good fit; that I feel I can contribute and that’s stimulating for me. But I may do nothing, as well,” Jones said about other job opportunities. “It’s still a year away... I still got to stay focused and stay on point. It’s a very large department, a very large operation. It doesn’t allow me to spend too much time daydreaming about retirement and what plans may be after that.”
Jones had initially announced he would not run for re-election in 2018, planning to step aside to endorse department veteran Kris Palmer. When Palmer dropped out for personal reasons, Jones reversed his plan and decided to run, winning with more than half the vote in a four-candidate contest.
The sheriff said on Friday that he changed his mind in 2018 because he hadn’t yet prepared his office for someone to succeed him. But Jones said he is ready now to step aside and let someone else take over “with their vision and their passion and their projects, just like I did 11 years ago.”