Georgia state Democrat backs Trump for reelection, draws party’s wrath

A state lawmaker in Georgia drew backlash from fellow Democrats on Tuesday after endorsing President Trump for reelection.

State Rep. Vernon Jones, whose Atlanta-area district includes parts of DeKalb and Rockdale counties, argued that the president’s policies have helped him and other African-Americans.

“It’s very simple to me,” Jones said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “President Trump’s handling of the economy, his support for historically black colleges and his criminal justice initiatives drew me to endorse his campaign.

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“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.”

Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones listens as then-Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers the State of the State address on the House floor in Atlanta, Jan. 11, 2017. (Associated Press)

Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones listens as then-Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers the State of the State address on the House floor in Atlanta, Jan. 11, 2017. (Associated Press)

But other Georgia Democrats quickly attacked Jones for his decision.

State Sen. Nikema Williams, chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, issued a statement calling Jones an “embarrassment,” adding he “does not stand for our values.”

Republicans, meanwhile, hailed the decision by Jones, who represents one of Georgia’s most populous and left-leaning districts, according to the Journal-Constitution.

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“Vernon has been a Trump fan for a while,” Brandon Phillips, who headed Trump’s 2016 campaign in the state, told the newspaper. “Glad to see him putting Georgia first over party.”

Jones is facing a Democratic primary challenge from community activist Rhonda Taylor in the election scheduled for June 9.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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