Ventura County Supervisor Edwin A. Jones announced Tuesday that he will run for a fourth term, despite his arrest at a Studio City motel last June.
Jones, 55, whose district includes Thousand Oaks, southern Camarillo and parts of Oxnard, said he has controlled a drinking problem that contributed to the incident in which, according to a police report, he stood nude and made obscene gestures to a woman in the motel parking lot.
Jones, who at first was charged with lewd conduct and indecent exposure, in October pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace and public drunkenness. He was sentenced to two years' probation and mandatory alcohol-abuse counseling, and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
Speaking at a press conference with his wife beside him, Jones said that only two weeks ago he was "wondering if I had the enthusiasm" for continuing in the job. But his family and supporters persuaded him to run, he said.
Battled Drinking Problem
Jones said his arrest "really brought me down to my knees" and forced him to realize that he had a drinking problem. He said he has not had a drink since June. "I believe that, perhaps, if I can lick this, I can do an even better job," he said.
Jones already has one announced opponent, Nathaniel (Bud) Glickman, a Thousand Oaks businessman, and a potential challenger, Thousand Oaks City Councilwoman Madge L. Schaefer.
Glickman, who held a $75-a-plate fund-raising dinner last week for 300 supporters, said after Jones' announcement, "I'm delighted he's in the race." Glickman said he doesn't plan to make Jones' legal problems an issue.
Schaefer would not comment on Jones' candidacy. She said a committee is researching her chances of winning the race and that she will announce early next year whether she will run.
Thousand Oaks Councilman Lawrence E. Horner said Jones should be considered the front-runner in the race, mainly because he is the incumbent.
But John Paventi, chairman of the Ventura County Republican Central Committee, disagreed. "Traditionally, incumbents have always had an edge. But Bud Glickman is a very popular man in the Conejo Valley," he said.
Jones said he will not be able to gauge the effect of his criminal case until he begins campaigning in his usual door-to-door style. He said, however, that he has been encouraged by two recent constituent surveys and by visits he has made to about 10,000 district homes since the summer.
Jones counts among his accomplishments in 11 years as a county supervisor the construction of the county's first freeway call box, situated on the Ventura Freeway. He said one reason he wants to continue in his job is to oversee the placement of another 349 planned call boxes.