Collier County candidate stays in race after cocaine arrest; opponent won’t use it against him

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Commissioner candidate John Jenkins. Credit: WINK News.

Commissioner candidate John Jenkins (D-FL) in Collier County will not drop out of the race for a seat on Collier County Board of County Commissioners, despite a video that shows him passed out and being accused of cocaine possession. Jenkins was asked to step down by the Democratic Party in Collier County after the arrest but said he won’t.

Jenkins told us Monday it would not be in his nature to drop out of the race for this incident. We also spoke to opponent Rick LoCastro (R-FL) in the race for the District 1 seat, who told us Jenkins’ arrest will not be part of his campaign against him.

“It’s been splashed all over the news about what happened in the beginning of the month,” Jenkins said.

John Jenkins knows many community members have seen a video of him taking a fall outside the Break Time Lounge in July.

“As a baseball coach, I would give myself a failing grade if I told my boys to hang their heads in shame pack up their bats and balls and leave the field and go home,” Jenkins said. “That’s not who I am. You pick yourself up, and you dust yourself off, and you do the best that you can because there is more game to play.”

Detectives say they found cocaine on Jenkins. Despite that, he wants to assure everybody he’s not giving up and is still campaigning.

LoCastro says he is not going to use what happened to Jenkins against him.

“I’m not looking to bring up issues that he might be facing with the county,” LoCastro said. “That’s between him and the county.”

And LoCastro said he’s looking forward to a good race.

“We are running as Republican and Democrat. But in the end, we want what’s best for the county,” LoCastro said. “I’m happy the citizens have a choice, you know? That’s what democracy is all about.”

Jenkins is expected to be back in court in September.

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