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John 'JJ' Jenkins

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Collier County candidate arrested on cocaine charges

Local Democratic leaders have already called on him to drop out.

The Collier County Democratic Party called on Democrat John Jenkins to withdraw from a County Commission contest.

“We were saddened to hear of the difficult times John Jenkins is going through,” said Annisa Karim, county chair.

“We all deserve the space and privacy to deal with disruptive issues in our lives. It would be in his — and the community’s — best interest, therefore, for Mr. Jenkins to withdraw from his run for County Commission in District 1.”

John Jenkins mugshot

The move came after Jenkins was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine. He has since been released on a $5,000 bond.

Jenkins, 55, was booked into the Collier County Jail on Sunday. He was previously arrested in 2017 on charges of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

He’s the only Democrat running for a District 1 seat in the deeply Republican county.

A native of Canada, his family vacationed in Marco Island dating back as far as 1974. He worked in the Toronto area as an EMT and joined the military police after college. He later became a private investigator.

He moved to Collier County in 1987 and took a job in radio before ultimately launching a concierge car service. He has been active in family focused organizations like Little League and community groups like Naples Kiwanis, where he served at one point as president.

He has run on a platform on environmental preservation and improved public transit infrastructure.

Republicans Mark Batchelor, William Douglass and Rick LoCastro are now running for the Republican nomination in the District 1 race. There’s no other candidate beside Jenkins running for the open seat.

That means the Democratic Party is calling for their own candidate to drop out of the race and leave the decision on who wins the office to Republican primary voters in a closed primary.

Jenkins filed for the seat in March of 2019. He has since raised $19,990 for the race and has $2,861 in remaining cash on hand.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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