Former Georgia Rep. Vernon Jones, who left the Democrats behind early this year and became a Republican after supporting Donald J. Trump for president in 2020, is announcing on Friday morning in Atlanta a gubernatorial run in Georgia in 2022.
“In the midst of a battle that will determine the future of not just Georgia, but the future of America and our great experiment known as democracy, we need a fighter for Georgia,” he said in a statement released ahead of a scheduled press conference for Friday morning.
“Vernon Jones will address this need and his future efforts to put Georgia first.”
The New York Times, in a piece about Jones’ news, wrote, in part, “Mr. Trump has not endorsed a primary challenger to [current Georgia Gov. Brian] Kemp, who is seeking a second term in office. But the former president has vowed to return to Georgia to campaign against the governor, a former ally, to punish him for rebuffing Mr. Trump’s entreaties late last year that he work to overturn Georgia’s election results.”
Jones was raised on a tobacco farm in Laurel Hill, North Carolina, the fifth of six children of Robert and Rufer Jones. “Born in a four-room cinderblock house with no indoor plumbing,” Jones says his parents taught him “the value of faith, hard work, self-reliance and self-respect,” as his biography notes.
Jones served as county executive of DeKalb County, Georgia—which included managing one of the largest police departments in Georgia. He also served as a Georgia State representative both before and after that, for a total of 12 years. He is CEO of Waking Up America.
Last year, Jones—before switching parties—spoke at the Republican National Convention.
During a dramatic speech that brought him national attention, Jones said, in part, “I’m part of a large and growing segment of the black community who are independent thinkers, and we believe that Donald Trump is the president that America needs to lead us forward … Joe Biden has had 47 years to produce results, but he’s been all talk and no action, just like so many of the Democrats who’ve been making promises to black voters for decades. We’ve been their captive audience … Let me tell you why I’m supporting our president,” he added. “I grew up in the South, in Laurel Hill, North Carolina, in Scotland County—in the Green Pond community, to be exact. My parents, Robert and Rufer Jones, built with their own hands a four-room cinderblock home with no indoor plumbing. They had very limited education. But they instilled in us a strong work ethic that drove me from those tobacco fields of North Carolina to those hallowed halls of the Georgia General Assembly.”
Jones is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and worked as a telecommunications executive before becoming a public servant. In an emailed statement earlier this year to CNJ about his decision to move to the GOP, he wrote, “Along with the excitement [of becoming a Republican] comes the responsibility to live up to & promote the ideals of the party. I look forward to bringing new & unique ideas to our future. America is the greatest country on earth. We Will Make It Greater!”
“[Trump] built the most inclusive economy ever, with record-low unemployment for black Americans and record-high participation in the work force,” Jones also said during his RNC speech last summer. “He put opportunity zones in the Trump tax bill that would drive investment into our communities for decades to come. He put the interests of American workers, and especially, black workers, first. That’s right. Donald Trump did that.”
In an op-ed published in Fox News in January, Jones said after becoming a Republican, “I cannot stand for the defunding of the police, higher taxes on working families, and job-killing socialist policies that will devastate Americans of all walks of life … I haven’t changed. The Democratic Party has changed. It’s become a toxic combination of radical leftists and liberal elites in San Francisco and Hollywood [that] have taken over my former party.”
Bernard Kerik, former police commissioner of New York City, endorsed Jones ahead of the Friday morning announcement, tweeting, “Join me tomorrow [Friday] as @RepVernonJones announces his run for Governor of the State of Georgia! I’ll see you there!”
Kerik also told Just the News separately, in part, “The Republican Party needs real leaders that have the courage to stand up and fight for what’s right, and Vernon Jones is that person for Georgia.”
Former President Trump singled out Jones recently during an event for Sarah Huckabee Sanders at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. See this tweet below:
And see these additional tweets as well:
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—By CNJ Staff