Vernon Jones calls himself the “Black Donald Trump.” I’d like to just leave it at that, but like so many in the Trump world, Jones is now a contender in an important race in Georgia.
He’s been a Democrat for decades, but his hunger for power has obviously overtaken his hunger for reality, and with failed former President Donald Trump’s blessing, he bolted from his gubernatorial race against Brian Kemp to try his hand at the 10th Congressional District race in Dekalb—a district he doesn’t even live in.
His political career has been a hot mess of controversies and criticism, from campaign contribution violations to accusations of threats, bullying, and a rape accusation in 2005 when he served as the DeKalb County chief executive officer. So what better party for the self-proclaimed “Black MAGA man” to join than the GOP’s Trumpverse?
Dekalb County has a population of 772,470, with 54% being Black and 34% being white. The county has voted overwhelmingly Democrat (83%) since 2000. The 10th Congressional District is mostly white (64%) with a Black population of about 25%, and it went largely for Trump in 2020.
Jones began his political transformation in 2020. He started attending MAGA rallies and spoke at the Republican National Convention. But he officially switched parties on Jan. 6, just before the domestic terrorist insurrection on the U.S. Capitol and after the election of Democrats Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, which was a victory that owed a great deal of debt to voters in DeKalb County—particularly Black voters.
“Moments ago, I announced that I am officially joining the Republican Party,” Jones said on Twitter. “Now more than ever, the Republican Party is in desperate need of leaders that know how to fight. I know how to fight.”
Jones joins a crowded field of almost a dozen other Republican candidates. Most of the local GOP-ers have thrown their support behind Mike Collins, a MAGA bootlicker who lost to Rep. Jody Hice by a narrow margin.
“It’s an uphill climb for Vernon Jones here. He’s from DeKalb. He was a Democrat up until last year. How do we trust him?” Flip Johns, a retiree who backs Collins, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Jones is an excellent speaker, but he’ll say anything to get elected.”
But like many midterms around the nation, the question is how much weight Trump’s endorsement will hold. The twice-impeached president gave a glowing two (tiny) thumbs up to Jones Wednesday, calling Jones “a special person,” and “true patriot.”
“The left has taken this country too far to the left. That’s why I identify with the 10th Congressional District,” Jones said on Fox this week. “Those people have values like mine, conservative values, faith-based, hardworking, entrepreneurial spirit, things of that nature.”
Hice is challenging Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who also has Trump’s support, as does another GOP-er with a long history of violence against women: Herschel Walker for Senate. Sen. Burt Jones was benighted by Trump for lieutenant governor and of course, David Perdue is Trump’s pick for governor over his archenemy Kemp. It’s a cast of characters as diverse and disgusting as any of Trump’s picks have historically been.
Despite a recent poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution indicating that love for Trump among Georgia Republicans is starting to fade, Jones’ rivals aren’t taking him lightly. Collins’ campaign began running ads calling Jones “scandal-plagued,” saying he’s been “a Democrat since 1990,” and: “He’s a lot of things: Conman, charlatan, chameleon, criminal. But he’s no conservative.”
The Gateway Pundit reports that Michael Flynn, the disgraced former general who was forced to resign his position as national security adviser to Trump after being caught lying to the FBI about his (many) contacts with Russia, withdrew his support of Collins Wednesday in favor of Jones. What good company to be in for a turncoat like Jones.