Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones endorsed President Trump on Tuesday, becoming the first Democrat in the state to buck his party and support the GOP president for reelection.
Jones touted Trump’s handling of the economy and issues impacting black Americans in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Georgia lawmaker represents a heavily Democratic district that covers parts of DeKalb and Rockdale counties.
“It’s very simple to me. President Trump’s handling of the economy, his support for historically black colleges and his criminal justice initiatives drew me to endorse his campaign,” Jones said.
“This is not about switching parties. There are a lot of African-Americans who clearly see and appreciate he’s doing something that’s never been done before,” Jones continued. “When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That’s just a fact.”
Jones first won a seat in the Georgia legislature in 1993 and served until 2001 when he left to become DeKalb County’s chief executive. He stayed in that position until the end of his second term in 2009. He tried and failed to run for the U.S. House and Senate and to be DeKalb County sheriff. He rejoined the Georgia House in 2016.
“A philosopher once said, ‘One courageous man in the crowd is a majority.’ I’ve got the courage to express my convictions,” Jones said. “I believe that Donald Trump is the best person to lead this country going forward.”
Jones endorsement comes on the same day the former President Barack Obama endorsed his former vice president and the likely Democratic nominee for president, Joe Biden. Obama endorsed Biden in a video released on social media Tuesday.
“I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for president,” Obama says. “Choosing Joe to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I ever made and he became a close friend.”
Obama named his endorsement after every challenger to Biden had dropped out the Democratic primary. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was the last to suspend his campaign and he endorsed Biden on Monday. Reports on Tuesday said pressure from Obama to unite the party was a driving factor in Sanders’ decision to endorse.
“It’s no great secret Joe that you and I have our differences, and we are not going to paper them over. That’s real,” Sanders said in his endorsement of Biden. “But I hope that these task forces will come together, utilizing the best minds and people in your campaign and in my campaign, to work out real solutions to these very, very important problems.”
As The Daily Wire reported at the time:
“Sanders’ endorsement isn’t entirely unexpected — after all, he endorsed his former competitor, Hillary Clinton, after losing the nomination in 2016. But Sanders seems to be making things easier on the Democratic party this time around, endorsing his top competition for the 2020 Democratic presidential endorsement within a week of dropping out of the race and well before all of the state-level primaries finished.”
“Democrats likely hope that an early partnership between Biden and Sanders can help bring reticent Sanders supporters into the Democratic Party’s fold. According to a poll taken earlier in April, most Sanders supporters plan to cast their ballot for Biden, but a handful of hardliners are still holding out.”