Georgia House Democrat Rep. Vernon Jones has endorsed President Donald Trump for reelection, stating “I’m sick and tired of me and my family being attacked and harassed by the Democrat Party for putting my country before my party.“
Jones caused shockwaves when he made the announcement in a formal statement on Wednesday morning, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
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“Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation,” Jones said in the statement, initially vowing to resign his seat. “Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend not to complete my term effective April 22, 2020.”
Reporter Hayley Mason also posted a full statement from Jones on Twitter. “I’m sick and tired of me and my family being attacked and harassed by the Democrat Party for putting my country before my party. I take pride in being an independent thinker,” the Georgia Democrat said.
“I don’t plan to leave the Democratic Party because somebody’s got to be in there to hold them accountable —hold them accountable to how they are treating black people (and) root out the bigotry,” Jones said on The Rashad Richey Morning Show shortly after announcing his resignation.
On Twitter, Jones wrote: “The Left hates me because they can’t control me. They can stay mad.”
Newsweek report: Jones drew substantial criticism after he endorsed Trump for re-election last Tuesday. The Georgia state lawmaker pointed to the president’s criminal justice reform efforts, as well as low levels of unemployment for black Americans during most of Trump’s presidency.
“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,” Jones told the AJC last week.
“There are a lot of African Americans who clearly see and appreciate he’s doing something that’s never been done before,” he added. “When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That’s just a fact.”
Jones had shared a video explaining his endorsement of Trump on Twitter as well.
“I’m a Georgia State Representative and lifelong Democrat. But in this election, I’ll be casting my vote for @realdonaldtrump. I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Party left me,” he captioned the post with the clip.
Nikema Williams, the chair of Georgia’s Democratic Party, said Jones “does not stand for our values” last week.