Vernon Jones, a Democratic state representative in Georgia who attracted immense ire from his party after endorsing President Donald Trump, today switched parties and became a Republican.
“Little did I know that I would receive such [a] barrage of attacks and name-calling by the far left in the Democratic Party,” Jones said previously about his support for Trump.
Jones previously indicated he would be stepping down from the legislature — citing attacks and harassment from his party following his endorsement of President Donald Trump for re-election. Later he changed his mind after support from Trump voters.
Today, he declared he is officially becoming a Republican.
“Moments ago, I announced that I am officially joining the Republican Party. Now more than ever, the Republican Party is in desperate need of leaders that know how to fight. I know how to fight,” he tweeted.
Moments ago, I announced that I am officially joining the Republican Party.
Now more than ever, the Republican Party is in desperate need of leaders that know how to fight.
I know how to fight.
— Vernon Jones (@RepVernonJones) January 6, 2021
Jones shocked the Georgia political establishment when he became the first state-elected Democrat to endorse Trump earlier in April. While the move drew quick recognition and applause from the White House, Democratic leaders closer to home immediately disavowed him, and pledged to help unseat him from office.
“I take pride in being an independent thinker,” Jones said earlier in 2020 while he was still a Democrat. “I intend to help the Democrat Party get rid of its bigotry against Black people that are independent and conservative.”
Jones first endorsed Trump on April 14, citing the president’s handling of the economy, support for historically black colleges and his criminal justice reform initiatives. All of these issues, he said, drew him toward Trump’s campaign.
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Jones represents the 91st House District in the Georgia General Assembly — a majority-minority district in the suburbs south of Atlanta that is overwhelmingly Democratic. Before entering the Georgia House of Representatives, Jones served as the CEO of DeKalb County, and served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1993 to 2001.