Vernon Jones drops Georgia governor’s bid to run for Congress

Vernon Jones drops Georgia governor's bid to run for Congress

ATLANTA ( Associated Press) – Brian Kemp, one of Georgia’s Republican challenger for Gov., dropped out of the race on Monday, a move that could help clear the way for Donald Trump-backed challenger David Perdue in Georgia’s GOP primary. .

Democrat Vernon Jones, who switched parties as part of the former president’s full support, said on Monday he would run for Congress instead. However, Jones did not immediately say which of Georgia’s 14 congressional seats he would seek.

“I believe that strong conservative voices need to be heard as we lead America into the future,” Jones said. “Due to this decision I am officially withdrawing my candidacy for governor effective today and will endorse David Perdue for governor. He is a good man who loves our state and loves our country. Huh.”

Jones’ announcement came days after a meeting in late January, in which Trump spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a private meeting if he were to vacate the position for Perdue. If left, he promised to support Jones in the Congressional race.

The switch helps Trump defeat Kemp, who has despised Trump for not supporting his plan to reverse President Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. Trump Spent Months Running Perdue Trump has vowed to deny Kemp a second term, and Perdue is currently airing a television ad in which Trump endorses him for the camera.

Speculation centered on Jones running for the US House in the 6th Congressional District in the North Atlanta suburbs or the 10th Congressional District, which stretches east from the outskirts of Atlanta.

Debbie Dooley, a Republican activist and Jones’ top supporter, said she hopes to run in the 10th district, where an overcrowded Republican field is seeking to replace incumbent U.S. Representative Jody Haise. Part of the slate of Trump-backed candidates in the stateWith Trump’s backing, Hiss is in the running to become Georgia’s secretary of state.

Polls showed Jones was receiving a small but significant degree of support in the May 25 primary. His return could allow Perdue to bolster anti-Kemp Republicans and make it more likely that the GOP nomination will be decided without any runoff.

“Vernon Jones is a conservative patriot who cares deeply about Georgia,” Perdue wrote in a tweet. “We need his voice and we need him in the fight,” he said. I am proud to have their support.”

Cody Hall, a spokesman for Kemp, attacked Jones’ support as baseless, alleging that Jones had raped a woman in 2004, which Jones warmly dismissed, later dropping the charges. went. Hall attacked Jones on other grounds as well, including voting against a bill prohibiting abortion.

Hall said, “Vernon’s support for Perdue is understandable—both paying lip service to America’s First Movement and putting his own ego and pockets forward in what’s best for the people of Georgia. is history.”

Dooley predicted that Trump would endorse Jones for Congress.

“I look for an endorsement, and I think Vernon will make a great congressman,” Dooley said. “Trump takes care of those who are loyal to him.”

Jones was an outwardly Democratic state representative with his party when he rose to prominence in Republican circles as an African American who supported Trump’s re-election campaign.

Jones, 61, served multiple terms in the Georgia House, before declaring himself a Republican in January 2021, sandwiching a troubled turn in Atlanta’s suburban DeKalb County, as his last term in the State House came to an end.

He built his campaign for governor around Trump’s lie that the Georgia election was stolen, Jones promised an audit of the 2020 presidential election and to replace Georgia’s electronic voting system, often calling the election “along the line.” Finally dead cat”.

Dooley said Perdue’s more aggressive attacks on the election results, including filing a lawsuit claiming that fraudulent ballot counting was done in Fulton County, would put Jones’ supporters behind Perdue.

“I think they’re seeing a fighter,” Dooley said.

Besides Kemp and Perdue, three other Republicans remain in the race, including Candice Taylor. Democrats, however, announced on Monday that the GOP race is now a “slugfest” between Kemp and Perdue, an expectation that will ultimately benefit Stacey Abrams, the only Democrat in the race.

Abrams’ campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said that Kemp and Perdue’s “bad fight will do nothing to help our state. As Kemp and Perdue fight each other, Stacey Abrams is fighting for Georgia.” “

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Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed from New York.

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