Democratic Lawmaker Resigns After Party Turns on Him for Trump Endorsement


Georgia Democratic state Rep. Vernon Jones announced he is resigning Wednesday morning after he faced backlash for endorsing President Donald Trump’s re-election.

“Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation,” Jones said in a statement, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend not to complete my term effective April 22, 2020.”

A week before his resignation, the lawmaker endorsed Trump, saying the Republican president’s policies that have helped African-American voters, military veterans and farmers.

“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 told The Journal-Constitution.

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

His endorsement received a quick backlash from his fellow Georgia Democrats.

State Sen. Nikema Williams, chairwoman of the Georgia Democratic Party,  called him an “embarrassment” who “does not stand for our values.”

The Democratic parties in DeKalb and Rockdale counties, part of Jones’ district, also planned to censure Jones for his endorsement.

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Jones’ resignation seemed to have been suggested in a Monday night tweet.

“I’ve seen more Democrats attack me for my decision to endorse @realDonaldTrump than ask me why,” he tweeted.

“They’ve used and abused folks in my community for far too long, taking our votes for granted. Black Americans are waking up. An uprising is near.”

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In a statement announcing his resignation, Jones said he intends to help the “Democrat Party get rid of its bigotry against Black people that are independent and conservative,” according to The Journal-Constitution.

“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,” he said.

Jones told “The Rashad Richey Morning Show” on WAOK-AM that even though he is resigning from his office, he is not leaving the Democratic Party because “somebody’s got to be there to hold them accountable — hold them accountable to how they are treating black people [and] root out the bigotry.”

In a series of tweets following his resignation, Jones said, “I don’t care what the Democrat Party does to me. What are they going to do? Spank me?”

“The Left hates me because they can’t control me. They can stay mad,” he tweeted.

Jones will also not be seeking re-election, his spokesman told The Journal-Constitution.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith