Vernon Jones, a Democratic state representative in Georgia, is going against his party and endorsing Donald Trump for re-election. He is the first Democratic official in his state to back Trump’s campaign for a second term.
During an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the DeKalb legislator said that while he’s not switching parties, he believes Trump is a transformative figure who has helped African-Americans, farmers and military veterans with his policies.
“It’s very simple to me. President Trump’s handling of the economy, his support for historically Black colleges and his criminal justice initiatives drew me to endorse his campaign,” said Jones. “This is not about switching parties. There are a lot of African-Americans who clearly see and appreciate he’s doing something that’s never been done before. When you look at the unemployment rates among Black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That’s just a fact.”
State Sen. Nikema Williams, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, described Jones as an “embarrassment” who doesn’t stand for their party’s values.
“Never has that been clearer than this moment, when he chose to stand with the racist president who has made an all-out assault on Black Americans, who has tried to rip away American healthcare and who has failed our country in its greatest time of need during the most important election in our lifetimes,” she told The AJC.
Jones was elected to the Georgia House in 2016 and has been a part of the state’s political system since 1990. He’s also been the subject of much controversy during his time in public life, including a 2013 special grand jury-recommended investigation for bid-rigging and theft when he was chief executive of DeKalb County. The then-district attorney would later rule that there was a lack of evidence to reveal that any crimes occured.
In March, Jones called a fellow Democratic lawmaker a “chicken[expletive]” and was accused of making transphobic comments to a Doraville city council member who he said tried to draw a comparision with being Black to being gay.
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