California Secretary of State
Dutch American Heritage Award 2000 Recipient
As California Secretary of State, Bill Jones has been on the front lines, fighting to reform areas of policy that affect the daily lives of all Californians. Bill Jones, born into an agricultural family, studied at the California State University, Fresno and obtained a BS in Agri-Business/Plant Science in 1971. He joined the family’s J & J Ranch in which he still is a partner. In 1975 he received the Outstanding Young Farmer Award by the Fresno Jaycees and in 1993 the degree of Honorary State Farmer by the Future Farmers of America. He was a State assemblyman from 1982-1994 and became Assembly Republican Leader 1991-1992.
He was elected California Secretary of State in 1994 and took office in January 1995. He is now in his second four-year term. Secretary Jones is the first resident of California’s Central San Joaquin Valley to serve in a statewide constitutional office and has earned an unparalleled reputation for honesty and integrity.
During his tenure in the State Assembly, Bill Jones received national acclaim when he authored the nations toughest anti-crime legislation that has helped bring crime to a 35-year low. As Secretary of State, Jones remains in the state and national spotlight, appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court to defend California’s open primary law, as well as successfully defending term limits in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
A nationally recognized leader of agriculture, trade and water issues, Secretary Jones is utilizing his position as a member of the California World Trade Commission to encourage business development and foreign trade.
Secretary Jones and his wife of 26 years, Maurine, have two daughters. He is a third-generation California rancher and farmer.
Bill Jones’ maternal grandfather came from the Netherlands and married a native Californian. A young Queen Wilhelmina visited great-grandfather Visman aboard his ship in 1899.