Your guide to California’s Congressional District 3 race: Kermit Jones vs. Kevin Kiley

Democrat Kermit Jones, left, and Republican Kevin Kiley
Democrat Dr. Kermit Jones, a physician and Navy veteran, left, and Republican Assemblymember Kevin Kiley are competing to represent a vast congressional district stretching along the Eastern Sierra.

Republican Assemblymember Kevin Kiley and Democrat Dr. Kermit Jones, a physician and Navy veteran, are vying for an open seat to represent the largely rural 3rd Congressional District, which stretches hundreds of miles from Death Valley up through Plumas County.

Protecting undeveloped land and natural landmarks is crucial to voters, and tourism is vital to the area. Wildfires have devastated parts of the district and had an impact on tourism and health.


Who are the candidates?

Jones grew up on his family’s farm in Michigan before earning law and medical degrees from Duke University. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he joined the Navy and served as a flight surgeon for a Marine helicopter squadron in Iraq. Afterward, he got a master’s degree in public administration and served for a year as a White House fellow in the Obama administration, working with the secretary of Health and Human Services on improving care for veterans.


Jones, who moved to California in 2017, lives in Woodland with his family but rents a home in Roseville, where he plans to live full-time if elected.

Raised by a physician and a special education teacher in the Sacramento suburbs, Kiley taught English at an L.A. high school through the Teach for America program after graduating from Harvard. He later attended Yale Law School and returned to California to work at a law firm. He left private practice to serve as a state deputy attorney general.

The Rocklin resident was elected to the California Assembly in 2016 and ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2019.

Last year, he ran as a candidate in the failed election to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom and placed sixth in the crowded field. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Kiley voted to allow Newsom to spend up to $1 billion on the response. But he later sued the governor, saying Newsom overstepped his authority when he used an executive order under the Emergency Services Act to expand mail voting. The courts upheld Newsom’s emergency powers.


Where is District 3?

This mostly rural district covers a huge swath of the state — stretching from the southern tip of Lassen Volcanic National Park to Death Valley, and from the Nevada border to the Eastern Sierra. It also includes some Sacramento suburbs.



Where Kiley and Jones stand on abortion

Jones supports federal protection for abortion access, saying he has “always felt there is no place for the government, partisan politics or the political preferences of elected officials or unelected justices to make these decisions for those families.”

Banning abortion goes against our most sacred, American principles of self-determination,” he said.

In the Assembly, Kiley voted against placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot to explicitly protect abortion rights in California and voted against other abortion rights measures.

During a debate ahead of the primaries before Roe vs. Wade was overturned, Kiley said he would “fight for pro-life policies.” At the time, he said the leaked Supreme Court opinion overturning the landmark 1973 ruling was the “appropriate decision from a constitutional point of view.”



Where Jones and Kiley stand on healthcare

Jones said he supports a public option to the Affordable Care Act, and that his healthcare proposals go beyond insurance.

“A person can be fully insured and still have access issues because there are not enough doctors, nurses or other healthcare workers in rural areas. That person may also still pay too much for medications or require unnecessary trips to the hospital for services he or she could receive at home,” Jones said. “I have the most comprehensive healthcare plan of anyone who has ever run for Congress. My plan would lower prescription drug costs while encouraging innovation and a cost-saving mechanism by increasing more tele- and virtual medical care and providing incentives for preventive health.”

In an interview last year with Kaiser Health News, Kiley argued that government rules on health insurance and other regulations have contributed to increased costs.

“I’m not sure it’s necessary to be continually specifying what every single plan needs to entail,” Kiley told the outlet. “I don’t know that legislators are always in the best position to be weighing in.”


Past coverage

The stances of Kevin Kiley and Kermit Jones, candidates in a vast California congressional district, on abortion, healthcare, immigration, gun laws.

Oct. 25, 2022


In California election ads, Democrats running for Congress spotlight abortion access after Roe vs. Wade’s overturn; Republicans focus on inflation.

Oct. 19, 2022


How and where to vote

Ballots have been mailed to all 22 million registered voters in the state. Californians can return ballots by mail, drop them at collection boxes or turn them in at voting centers. They can also cast ballots early at voting centers or wait until Nov. 8 to vote at their neighborhood polling places.

Find out how to register, check voter status and vote here:

Here’s how to vote in the California midterm election, how to register, what to do if you didn’t get mail ballot or if you made a mistake on your ballot.

Nov. 1, 2022


For more election coverage

California voters head to the polls Nov. 8 to vote for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller, treasurer, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, the state Board of Equalization, judges, U.S. senator, members of Congress and the state Legislature. Local races in Los Angeles include mayor and county sheriff. There are also seven ballot propositions on the table.