In a little more than one week, Democratic lawmaker Vernon Jones announced his resignation from his Georgia legislature after he formally endorsed President Donald Trump’s reelection bid. Jones received swift backlash from Georgia Democrats disagreeing with the Lithonia Democrat.
“Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation,” Jones said in a statement. “Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend not to complete my term effective April 22, 2020.”
In a contentious interview with WAOK-AM’s Rashad Richey, Jones said he would not leave the Democratic Party.
“I don’t plan to leave the Democratic Party because somebody’s got to be in there to hold them accountable —hold them accountable to how they are treating black people (and) root out the bigotry,” Jones said on The Rashad Richey Morning Show shortly after announcing his resignation.
Jones was preparing for a reelection campaign of his own, with the first hurdle being a primary rematch with Rhonda Taylor of Conyers. However, Democrats in DeKalb and Rockdale Counties agreed to censure Jones after he proclaimed he would endorse President Trump.
“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,” Jones said.
Jones was elected to the Georgia House in 1992 and later lost elections to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, and DeKalb sheriff before a victory in a DeKalb-based House seat returned him to the state Capitol four years ago. However, in a tweet Monday night, Jones seemed to telegraph his next move.
“I’ve seen more Democrats attack me for my decision to endorse @realdonaldtrump than ask me why,” he said. “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.”
Taylor is now the presumptive nominee for District 91. Even though he was met with acute criticism, Jones vows to root out racism from the Democratic Party.
“I intend to help the Democrat Party get rid of its bigotry against Black people that are independent and conservative,” Jones said. “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.”