Georgia State Dem Endorses Trump, Citing Admin Efforts to Help African Americans

Citing improved conditions for African Americans, a Georgia State Democrat became the first elected Democratic official in the state to endorse President Trump in the 2020 race, calling him “the best person to lead this country going forward.”
“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,” State Representative Vernon Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.

Jones, who holds a seat in DeKalb County, one of Georgia’s largest that covers part of Atlanta, is facing a primary challenge in 2020. First serving in the Georgia House in 1993, Jones was then Dekalb County executive for nine years, before returning to the state legislature in 2016 after unsuccessful campaigns for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and county sheriff.
“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,” he explained. “When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That’s just a fact.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that Johnson is a critic of illegal immigration, joining Republicans earlier this year to sponsor a bill calling for more stringent measures. He also drawn ire from Democrats for making alleged “transphobic comments.”

Following his endorsement, Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams said in a statement that Jones is “an embarrassment to the Democratic Party and does not stand for our values.”

“Never has that been clearer than this moment, when he chose to stand with the racist president who has made an all-out assault on Black Americans, who has tried to rip away American health care, and who has failed our country in its greatest time of need during the most important election in our lifetimes,” the statement reads. “Vernon Jones doesn’t speak for Georgians, and neither does Donald Trump — which is why Georgians will send him home in November 2020.”
President Trump, who signed his criminal justice reform “First Step Act” in December 2018, has touted his efforts to improve the lives of African Americans in recent months, including regularly citing record-low unemployment statistics under his administration.
“Warning to Democrats: what [Trump] was saying to African Americans can be effective,” CNN analyst Van Jones said following Trump’s State of the Union address in February. “You may not like it, but he mentioned HBCU’s [historically black colleges and universities], black colleges have been struggling for a long time, a bunch of them have gone under, he threw a lifeline to them in real life in his budget.”

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