Like a cunning ninja, Kevin Jones was gone from viewers’ TV screens Monday before many residents realized their local legislator had been there.

Jones, Wellsville, a state representative, family man and former Green Beret, was briefly featured this week on NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior.” The episode Monday showcased military veterans vying for a chance to win a $1 million prize by competing in a complex course that included hopping, climbing, leaping and various other tests of strength.

“If you give me an obstacle, I can do it,” Jones said Tuesday.

The Franklin County legislator’s home life was showcased in a one-minute featurette on the TV show, and included scenes with Jones and his family in Wellsville, as well as shots of the second-term lawmaker running through the Statehouse.

His appearance in the competition was shorter. Jones lasted just over three seconds before a risky move sent him splashing out of the contest.

“I touched three of the quintuple steps, and the water, and that’s it,” he said.

Jones wants redemption, he said, even if it means waiting a year for the next round of the “American Ninja Warrior” competition.

“[My wife] Nicole asked our kids, ‘Are you proud of your dad?’ and our 3-year-old said, ‘No, he just fell in the water.’”

Feedback from friends, family and constituents flooded his social media accounts Monday night. Tom Swafford, Wellsville, reached out with words of encouragement on Jones’ Facebook. As a regular viewer of “American Ninja Warrior,” he said he was surprised to see his statesman on television.

“I wish he’d gone further,” Swafford said. “I think it shows the human side and it shows that he likes to achieve.”

Jones’ efforts to compete started with an online application, then a video his son Tyler helped film, then the call back from producers. He was a fan of the show, he said, though not a die-hard fanatic.

Routine crossfit workouts and upperbody strengthening exercises already kept him fit, Jones said, but it wasn’t until he was scheduled to compete that he started studying the obstacles used on the show.

“There are so many people who sit on the couch and say, ‘Man, I could do that,’” he said. “That was it. I just wanted to give it a shot.”

“American Ninja Warrior” camera crews visited Wellsville in May to film his featurette. They captured him running the Statehouse stairs on a weekend. At the beginning of June, Jones flew to California for his go at the course. The lawmaker didn’t predict the taping would overlap with the overtime legislative session.

“I was told that we’d be done [with the session] by that day,” he said.

Jones said he consulted House leadership about his coming trip beforehand. He said he wanted to honor Kansas, whether it was by competing on television or submitting a vote. Jones was absent for the 64-48 vote on the budget.

“As a no [vote], they wouldn’t have needed me anyway,” he said.

After four days of recorded absences, from June 3 to June 6, he made it back in time for the final tax vote.

Jones didn’t necessarily want to be on television, he said. He simply wanted to touch the course. And until he gets a call back for a second chance, he said he’ll keep up his regular workouts like he did before he joined the “American Ninja Warrior” contestant pool.

“Ask people in my town,” he said. “They’ll see me running around and doing things at night, climbing stairs and doing weird stuff where they’re just like ‘what is he doing’?”

Now they know, he said.

Amelia Arvesen is a Herald staff writer. Email her at aarvesen@ottawaherald.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AmeliaArvesen.

Amelia Arvesen is a Herald staff writer. Email her at aarvesen@ottawaherald.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AmeliaArvesen.