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Georgia Democrat Endorses Trump For Reelection For Strong Support Of African Americans

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“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.

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Georgia Democratic lawmaker endorses Trump’s presidential bid

State Rep. Vernon Jones bucked his party Tuesday and endorsed President Donald Trump, making him the first state elected Democratic official in Georgia to back the Republican’s bid for a second term.

By AJC, April 14, 2020:

A polarizing figure in Georgia politics, the DeKalb County legislator told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was not switching parties but that he views Trump as a transformative figure who has helped African American voters, military veterans and farmers 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,” Jones said.

“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,” Jones added. “When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That’s just a fact.”

A former chief executive of DeKalb County, the state’s biggest Democratic stronghold, Jones completed a political comeback in 2016 by winning a seat in the Georgia House, where he launched his political career in the early 1990s.

Before his win four years ago returning him to the state Capitol, Jones mounted unsuccessful runs for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House and DeKalb sheriff.

His stint as the county’s leader was marked by controversy.

A special grand jury in 2013 recommended an investigation in allegations against Jones of bid-rigging and theft when he was CEO, but the then-district attorney said he lacked evidence to show any crimes had occurred. Jones is quick to highlight his efforts to shore up the county’s finances and boost green space.

Though he’s influential in DeKalb politics, Jones is often at odds with many of his Democratic colleagues.

In March alone, he called a fellow Democratic lawmaker a “chicken (expletive)” and was accused of making transphobic comments to a Doraville City Council member who Jones said tried to draw a comparison between being black and being gay.

He’s also routinely allied himself with Republican lawmakers in the Legislature, including co-sponsoring a measure this year that would crack down on unauthorized immigrants. And his social media posts crackle with positive messages about Trump.

Jones carried nearly three-quarters of his heavily Democratic district in 2016, the last time he faced a Republican opponent. He drew a challenge this year from Democrat Rhonda Taylor, and he is the target of a complaint alleging he doesn’t live in the district. Jones called the accusation “baseless.”

“A philosopher once said, ‘One courageous man in the crowd is a majority.’ I’ve got the courage to express my convictions,” Jones said. “I believe that Donald Trump is the best person to lead this country going forward.”

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