Dave Jones (politician)

David Evan Jones (born January 4, 1962) is an American politician who served as California's Insurance Commissioner from 2011 to 2019. He previously represented California's 9th assembly district from December 2004 to 2011 as a member of the Democratic Party.

Dave Jones
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones -- PD-CAGov.jpg
7th Insurance Commissioner of California
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 7, 2019
GovernorJerry Brown
Preceded bySteve Poizner
Succeeded byRicardo Lara
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 9th district
In office
December 2004 – December 2010
Preceded byDarrell Steinberg
Succeeded byRoger Dickinson
Member of the Sacramento City Council
from the 6th district
In office
Preceded byDarrell Steinberg
Succeeded byKevin McCarty
Personal details
Born (1962-01-04) January 4, 1962 (age 58)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Kim Flores
EducationDePauw University (BA)
Harvard University (JD, MPP)

Pre-assembly careerEdit

Jones attended Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Illinois where he served as student body president alongside student body vice-president John Chiang. Lifelong friends, Chiang and Jones would run again together in 2010 on the California Democratic slate, with Chiang winning reelection as state controller and Jones being elected California Insurance Commissioner.

Sacramento City CouncilEdit

Prior to his election to the State Assembly, Jones was a member of the Sacramento City Council, representing the 6th District which includes much of Southeastern Sacramento and the College Greens neighborhood in East Sacramento. He served for five and a half years after winning a 1999 special election to replace Darrell Steinberg, also his predecessor in the Assembly.

Legal careerEdit

Before his election to the city council, he worked for six years as a legal aid attorney with Legal Services of Northern California, providing free legal assistance to the poor. In 1995, Jones was one of 13 Americans awarded a White House Fellowship. Jones served in the Clinton administration for three years. He first served as a special assistant to Janet Reno and later as her counsel.


Jones received his undergraduate degree from DePauw University, his law degree from Harvard Law School, and a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Assembly careerEdit

Committee assignmentsEdit

Jones, a Democrat, chaired the Assembly Judiciary Committee for four years. He also chaired the Assembly Health Committee and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. He served on the Appropriations Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Accountability and Government Review Committee.

Legislative accomplishmentsEdit

According to Jones’ official biography,[1] his legislative accomplishments include:

  • Reforming California's conservatorship laws, enacting sweeping protections for seniors and dependent adults facing abuse (Assembly Bill 1363 of 2006).
  • Preventing HMOs and health insurers from charging men and women different rates for the same health insurance policies (Assembly Bill 119 of 2009).
  • First-in-the-nation legislation allowing Californians to share their personal vehicles in car-sharing pools without invalidating their auto insurance (Assembly Bill 1871 of 2010).
  • Securing billions in federal funding to improve California's hospital health care safety net and fund children's health care, by establishing a hospital provider fee (Assembly Bill 1383 of 2009).
  • Protecting private medical records from mis-use (Assembly Bill 1298 of 2007) and disclosure (Assembly Bill 211 of 2008).
  • Creating the nation's largest early childhood education and preschool program to give children the best possible start (Assembly Bill 2759 of 2008).

Jones also authored legislation in 2010 which sought to regulate pet insurance by requiring pet insurance companies to be more specific about which types coverage will be provided. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and did not become law.

Involvement in other racesEdit

2008 Sacramento mayor raceEdit

Jones was mentioned by several people as a potential opponent for Mayor Heather Fargo in 2008 due to his experience in local politics. However, Jones decided not to run and endorsed the mayor in her unsuccessful reelection bid against former NBA star and non profit director Kevin Johnson.

2008 Presidential electionEdit

Jones supported Democrat Barack Obama in his race against Republican John McCain in the November 2008 Presidential Election. Jones' 2011 inauguration speech indicated his strong support for implementing Obama's health care reform law in California.[2]

Insurance CommissionerEdit

2010 electionEdit

Jones giving a speech

On November 13, 2008, Jones announced his campaign for California State Insurance Commissioner in 2010, a statewide elected office. Republican incumbent Steve Poizner was expected to run for Governor. Jones announced, "The insurance commissioner should be a strong advocate for consumers. I think with my background and experience, I would be a very strong advocate." He was quickly endorsed by State Senate President Darrell Steinberg and State Controller John Chiang. Jones' main opponent in the Democratic primary was Los Angeles Assembly Member Hector De La Torre.

Jones won the Democratic Party endorsement by receiving just over 60 percent of the delegate votes at the California Democratic Party's convention in Los Angeles on April 18, 2010.[3] Jones defeated De La Torre in the Democratic Primary.

Jones won 3,544,003 votes in the general election, defeating Republican State Assemblyman Mike Villines, who received 2,650,383 votes.

Insurance commissioner career controversiesEdit

During the development of the health benefit exchange in California, Jones lobbied to exclude providers from the small business portion of the exchange that he felt charged unreasonably high rates. In particular, he worked to exclude Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Cross of California from the exchange.[4] Anthem Blue Cross ended up withdrawing its participation in the small business portion of the exchange,[5] prompting concerns that consumers would not be able to comparison shop on the exchange itself where plan designs were standardized, but would be required to compare exchange plans to externally marketed plans. Jones subsequently claimed that other major carriers on the exchange were charging unreasonable rates including Blue Shield of California[6] and United Healthcare.[7] United Healthcare subsequently withdrew from the California individual market entirely.[8] Blue Shield currently remains a member of the exchange.

2014 electionEdit

Jones was re-elected to a second term in 2014 with 57 percent of the vote against Republican Ted Gaines, a state senator from Northern California.

2018 Attorney General electionEdit

In 2018, Jones declared his candidacy for California Attorney General, finishing third in the primary election behind incumbent Democrat Xavier Becerra, who was appointed to the position by then Governor Jerry Brown upon the resignation of Kamala Harris who was elected to the United States Senate in 2016, and Republican Steven Bailey.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Jones and his wife, Kim Flores, live in the Curtis Park neighborhood of Sacramento and have two children, Isabelle and William.

Electoral historyEdit

Sacramento City Council 6th District Special Election, 1999
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Dave Jones 3,649 76.2
Nonpartisan Alex-St. James Railey-Cisco 647 13.5
Nonpartisan Eric Arnoldy 412 8.6
Nonpartisan Stephen Rodgers 78 1.6
Sacramento City Council 6th District Election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Dave Jones (inc.) 7,605 100.0
California State Assembly 9th District Democratic Primary Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dave Jones 20,429 42.5
Democratic Roger Dickinson 12,474 25.9
Democratic Lauren Hammond 8,732 18.1
Democratic Manny Hernandez 4,348 9.0
Democratic Leslie Cochren 1,130 2.3
Democratic Donna Begay 1,064 2.2
California State Assembly 9th District Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dave Jones 77,880 66.8
Republican Gaspar Garcia 32,734 28.0
Libertarian Gale Morgan 6,098 5.2
California State Assembly 9th District Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dave Jones (inc.) 61,932 70.0
Republican William Chan 26,652 30.0
California State Assembly 9th District Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dave Jones (inc.) 92,038 72.9
Republican Mali Currington 26,622 21.0
Peace and Freedom Gerald Allen Frink 7,744 6.1
California State Insurance Commissioner Democratic Primary Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dave Jones 1,255,656 61.4
Democratic Hector De La Torre 790,493 38.6
California State Insurance Commissioner Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dave Jones 4,765,400 50.6
Republican Mike Villines 3,540,626 37.6
Libertarian Richard Bronstein 372,676 4.0
Peace and Freedom Dina Josephine Padilla 293,502 3.1
Green William Balderston 252,301 2.6
American Independent Clay Pederson 198,347 2.1
California State Insurance Commissioner Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dave Jones (inc.) 2,106,671 53.1
Republican Ted Gaines 1,651,242 41.6
Peace and Freedom Nathalie Hrizi 212,991 5.4
California State Insurance Commissioner Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dave Jones (inc.) 4,038,165 57.5
Republican Ted Gaines 2,981,951 42.5


  1. ^ http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0500-about-us/0200-commissioner/
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2011-01-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Leubitz, Brian. "Dave Jones Gets Endorsement, No Endorsement in LG". Calitics. Archived from the original on 2010-11-20. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
  4. ^ http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2013/release047-13.cfm
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130809233939/http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-anthem-small-business-20130720%2C0%2C4631280.story. Archived from the original on August 9, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2013/release025-13.cfm
  7. ^ http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2013/release033-13.cfm
  8. ^ Terhune, Chad (May 22, 2013). "UnitedHealth, Aetna and Cigna opt out of California insurance exchange". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-29. Retrieved 2018-06-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Civic offices
Preceded by
Darrell Steinberg
Member of the Sacramento City Council
from the 6th district

Succeeded by
Kevin McCarty
California Assembly
Preceded by
Darrell Steinberg
Member of the California Assembly
from the 9th district

Succeeded by
Roger Dickinson
Preceded by
Ellen Corbett
Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee
Succeeded by
Mike Feuer
Political offices
Preceded by
Steve Poizner
Insurance Commissioner of California
Succeeded by
Ricardo Lara