Vernon Jones Withdraws From Georgia Gubernatorial Race, Backs David Perdue

Vernon Jones Withdraws From Georgia Gubernatorial Race, Backs David Perdue
Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones poses for a portrait at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Ga., on Oct. 25, 2020. (Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber
Updated:

Former Georgia Rep. Vernon Jones has decided to withdraw from the state’s gubernatorial race and is throwing his support behind former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.).

Jones said on Feb. 7 that he’s prayed and considered his political future and believes he can better serve Georgians in Congress than in the governor’s mansion.

“I believe that strong conservative voices need to be heard as we lead America into the future. Because of this decision, I am officially withdrawing my candidacy for governor effective today and will be supporting David Perdue,” Jones said in a statement. “He is a good man who loves our state and loves our country.”

Jones is a former Democrat who switched to the Republican Party while still serving in the state Legislature and became one of former President Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters in Georgia.

But Trump endorsed Perdue on Feb. 2, calling the former senator “an outstanding man” who is both “tough” and “smart.”

Former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) launches his gubernatorial bid in Dalton, Ga., on Feb. 1, 2022. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) launches his gubernatorial bid in Dalton, Ga., on Feb. 1, 2022. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a press conference in Atlanta, Ga., on Aug. 10, 2020. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a press conference in Atlanta, Ga., on Aug. 10, 2020. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Both Trump and Perdue have criticized Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican who is running for reelection, and Jones chose to back Perdue over Kemp.

The field also includes former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, and educator Kandiss Taylor, a Republican.

Perdue told The Epoch Times via email that Jones “is a conservative patriot who cares deeply about Georgia.”

“We need his voice and we need him in the fight. I’m proud to have his support of our Trump-endorsed campaign. Conservatives are united and ready to beat Stacey Abrams. I appreciate Vernon’s willingness to serve and look forward to working together to get big things done for Georgia,” he wrote.

Cody Hall, Kemp’s campaign spokesman, told The Epoch Times in an email that Perdue shouldn’t be proud of Jones’s endorsement, pointing to his voting history, which includes votes against the state’s pro-life legislation called the Heartbeat Bill and a veto of legislation for raising the pay of law enforcement.

“Vernon’s support for Perdue makes sense—both have a history of paying lip service to the America First movement, and putting their own egos and wallets ahead of what’s best for the people of Georgia,” Hall wrote.

The Jones campaign didn’t immediately respond when asked which congressional seat Jones will seek.

The primaries in the race are scheduled to take place on May 24. The general election is slated for Nov. 8.

Kemp won the 2018 election by about 55,000 votes over Abrams.

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