Atlanta (AP) — Former Democrat Vernon Jones crowd surfed enthusiastic Trump supporters in October after speaking at one of the former president’s election rallies.
Now, scandal-stricken politicians want the Republican nomination to surf Trump’s supporters’ dissatisfaction with Governor Brian Kemp. Jones announced on Friday that he would challenge the incumbent governor in 2022.
Jones was a state representative on an outing with his party when he shot prominently in the Republican media world as an African-American Democrat who supported Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. He continued to be in the limelight as a top supporter of unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him by fraud.
Jones hasn’t turned back — Kemp’s negligence has sacrificed the Republican presidency, and the Democratic Party has sacrificed two Georgia Senate seats that won the January final vote.
60-year-old Jones declared himself a Republican in January after serving multiple terms at the Georgia House, with a problematic turn in charge of DeKalb County on the outskirts of Atlanta, and the expiration of his last term in Congress. “I left the farm,” he declared during a party change.
Since then, he has been steadily igniting the governor. Last week, he tweeted that Kemp “has not stopped using Dominion voting machines in Georgia yet.” I’ll do it on the first day, “suggests an unproven claim that the machine somehow improperly attributed Trump’s vote to Democrat Joe Biden.
Jones has posted his videos and photos of interacting with Trump at the Mar A Lago Club in Florida in recent weeks. However, it is unclear if Trump will support him. Trump remains obsessed with Georgia, but encourages others to run in the Republican primary.
For Jones, this race is the latest in DeKalb’s long career as a self-proclaimed “country boy” who became the first African-American elected leader. Jones has been plagued at every stage with serious questions about which side of the law he lives in and which party he wants to join.
Jones has long been obsessed with GOP and said he voted for George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004, supported by the DeKalb County Republican Party when he was first elected CEO of the county in 2000. It was.
As the county’s chief executive, he faced multiple investigations into expensive security details and accused the woman of raping Jones in late 2004. She then withdrew the indictment, saying she didn’t want to face scrutiny, but never resigned. Jones denied cheating, saying that their sexual encounter had reached an agreement.
Jones also oversaw hundreds of millions of capital projects as CEO, but a special grand jury later realized that he was part of the endemic culture of “incompetence, sponsorship, fraud, and favoritism.” ..
“Vernon Jones has historically been a very effective activist, so we can’t underestimate him,” said Decatur Democrat Mary Margaret Oliver, who has long been intertwined with Jones. Stated. “But he is unlikely to run an honest and respected administration with talented staff.”
Jones ran for US Senator in 2008, but lost his Democratic final vote, partly because he lost his home county. He later lost the race between the US House of Representatives and the County Sheriff before returning to the State Capitol.
People close to Kemp admit that some of their conservative foundations are skeptical and even angry. But they see Jones’ candidacy as perhaps the best kind of major challenge that incumbents can get. They claim that Jones is credible enough to require an early and vigorous campaign effort from Kemp, but he is not necessarily a Republican primary voter, a Trump supporter.
“A strategic move for the Governor’s team, Governor’s supporters, to grassroots activists, he was the champion of life for economic growth and opportunities, expanded access to health, and now with a culture of cancellation. It’s a reminder that we’re leading the battle, “said Ryan Mahony of Kemp, a top campaign consultant.
If a challenge from Jones helps Kemp raise more money and strengthen his position in the Republican base, it helps him in a potential general election match against Democratic Stacey Abrams. Maybe, his adviser says.
Abrams, who lost slightly to Kemp in 2018, has not announced her intentions, but is widely expected to seek a rematch.
Republicans in Georgia recognize that Abrams can raise money nationwide and is unlikely to face significant major opposition.
The first test of Kemp’s status has already begun, as the county Republican Party hosts the annual convention. Trump’s allies are pushing for a resolution condemning Governor and Secretary of State Brad Rafensperger for his role in proving Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia.
Overwhelmingly two Republican counties, Murray and Whitfield, adopted a condemnation resolution last week. Dozens of other local Republican committees across the remaining 157 Georgia counties will consider the accusations on Saturday.