Trump-supporting black Dem Georgia state rep changes his mind, won't resign and will face primary challenge
Vernon Jones, a black Democrat who has represented heavily black, suburban Atlanta District 91 in the Georgia House of Representatives since 2016, endorsed President Trump on Tuesday:
"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 said Tuesday.
He added: "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."
Twitter video screen grab (cropped).
For this heresy he suffered such vicious attacks that he decided to end his political career and resign.
Georgia Democratic Party chair and state Sen. Nikema Williams ripped Democratic State Rep. Vernon Jones after Jones bucked his party and endorsed President Donald Trump's re-election campaign.
I’m a Georgia State Representative and lifelong Democrat. But in this election, I’ll be casting my vote for @realdonaldtrump.— Vernon Jones (@RepVernonJones) April 15, 2020
I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Party left me. #MAGA #KAG #WalkAway pic.twitter.com/BUs4kRZ7JG
But within a day, Rep. Jones changed his mind:
Yesterday, I announced my intentions to resign from my office. But shortly thereafter, the outpour of support I received was too great for me to ignore.— Vernon Jones (@RepVernonJones) April 23, 2020
I will not allow the Democrats to bully me into submission. I will not let them win.
I will NOT resign. #MAGA pic.twitter.com/gR2MsU5Rb3
I can only speculate, but I suspect he received offers of support and encouragement and now will face his 2016 primary opponent, Rhonda Taylor, who was defeated by him 54% to 46% in the 2016 primary runoff. The upcoming primary battle will be an epic test of African-American support for President Trump and should garner national attention.
A vote for Jones can be interpreted as support for Trump, and because Democrats need 90% support from blacks to win national elections, anything above 10% of the Democrat vote in the primary can be regarded as an omen of increasing black support for Trump.
Even if Jones is defeated by ten or more points, anything more than 10 or 15% support for him will give shivers to the Democrats.
Stacey Abrams, who is campaigning hard for the Dems' veep slot, must be delighted.