Georgia Democratic state Rep. Vernon Jones said he is resigning from his seat in the state legislature after he endorsed President Donald Trump’s reelection.
Jones told The Rashad Richey Morning Show that he won’t leave the Democratic Party because “somebody’s got to be in there to hold them accountable … to how they are treating black people [and] root out the bigotry,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper.
“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. My first amendment right to freedom of speech is under siege,” Jones, who is African American, said in a statement Wednesday in confirming his resignation, reported CBS46 in Atlanta.
He said that he’ll now “help the Democrat Party get rid of its bigotry against Black people that are independent and conservative.”
“Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation. Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend not to complete my term effective April 22, 2020. However, I will remain woke and vigilant in educating and fighting for my people,” he added in the statement.
Jones explained why he’s endorsing Trump over presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who had served under former President Barack Obama as his vice president
“I endorsed the White guy (Donald J. Trump) that let Blacks out of jail, and they endorsed the White guy (Joe Biden) that put Blacks in jail,” Jones said. “The results speak for themselves. With his hand on the wheel, the stock market broke record after record, wages and job growth exploded and unemployment dropped down to record lows. Given his track record, President Trump is best prepared to lead our economy back to record highs after we beat the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Earlier today, I made the decision to not seek re-election to the Georgia House of Representatives.
I look forward, however, to continuing to serve my community in other ways and doing all I can to re-elect @realDonaldTrump.
We will Make America Great Again 🇺🇸
— Vernon Jones (@RepVernonJones) April 22, 2020
State Sen. Nikema Williams, the head of the state Democratic Party, said that Jones’s endorsement of Trump is an “embarrassment” and added that he “does not stand for our values,” reported the Journal-Constitution.
When he endorsed Trump earlier this month, Jones became the first elected Democratic official in the state to back the president’s reelection campaign.
Jones faced a primary challenge from Rhonda Taylor, who serves as a community activist. The Gwinnett County Republican Party shared Jones’s endorsement last week, asking people to donate to his campaign before his resignation.