Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones has rescinded his resignation a day after it was announced.
Jones, a Democrat who represents metro Atlanta‘s House District 91 in the Georgia Assembly, announced his departure in a statement released to local TV station CBS 46 on Wednesday. The longtime fixture of Atlanta-area politics claimed his family has suffered in the aftermath of his announcement last week of his support for the reelection for President Donald Trump.
“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. Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation,” the statement read. “Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend not to complete my term effective April 22, 2020. However, I will remain woke and vigilant in educating and fighting for my people.”
By Thursday afternoon, Jones had had a change of heart. He cited support received from his constituents.
“That was emotional and that was motivational,” he said. “Because of what you did for me, I’m going to remain on the battlefield. I’m going to complete my term. I’m going to continue to put my country before my party. And I’m going to do everything I can to get Donald J. Trump elected.”
The former CEO of DeKalb County, Georgia, drew immediate backlash when he announced he will support Trump’s reelection campaign.
“He is the leader our country needed,” Jones said last week. “The results speak for themselves. With his hand on the wheel, the stock market broke record after record, wages and job growth exploded and unemployment dropped down to record lows. Given his track record, President Trump is best prepared to lead our economy back to record highs after we beat the COVID-19 pandemic.”
On Wednesday, Jones accused the Democratic Party of forgetting about Black people.
“When you look at the platform, there is nothing specifically in there to help African-Americans,” Jones told CBS 46. “Yes, there’s something for illegal immigrants. Yes, there’s something for the LGBTQ community. But there is nothing there for the African-American community.”
He also accused Democrats of being racist and holding a double standard. Jones compared himself to former Georgia Sen. Zell Miller, a Democrat who switched sides in all but party name only when he got to Washington as an appointee to fill an empty seat. Miller supported former President George W. Bush’s reelection in 2004, even going as far as to be the keynote speaker at the 2004 Republican Convention.
“Zell Miller didn’t switch parties, but when he endorsed a president who was a Republican, no one said anything about it,” Jones said in a remarkable piece of revisionist history, as Miller’s politics in the Senate came in for heavy criticism by Democrats. “Why am I being treated differently? It’s because I’m black. White conservatives in the Democratic party can express themselves, but a black person can’t? That shows you the bigotry right now.”
Jones’ election opponent is Rhonda Taylor, a fellow Democrat he defeated in 2016. Since there are no Republicans on the ballot, the winner of their June primary is the presumptive winner of the seat in the general election this fall.