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Trump-supporting ex-Democrat Vernon Jones to run against Gov. Kemp in Georgia GOP primary

Former NYPD Commissioner Kerik first to endorse, announcement expected Friday for #FeelTheVern.

Published: April 15, 2021 11:04pm

Updated: April 15, 2021 11:23pm

Vernon Jones, a lifelong Democrat who switched to the GOP after supporting Donald Trump, has decided to challenge Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in next year's Republican primary, multiple sources familiar with the decision told Just the News on Thursday evening.

Jones, a former state representative, is expected to announce his candidacy at an event Friday morning outside Georgia's state Capitol, the sources said.

His entrance would set up a challenge between a close Trump ally and an incumbent governor that Trump has lambasted for allowing Democrats too lenient absentee ballot rules to win the 2020 election in that state.

Former New York Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik, another Trump ally, was the first to endorse Jones ahead of the announcement.

"Join me tomorrow as @RepVernonJones announces his run for Governor of the State of Georgia! I’ll see you there!" Kerik tweeted.

In a separate statement to Just the News, Kerik added: "Joe Biden is sitting in the White House today because Georgia’s Governor Kemp and RINOs like him refused to investigate overwhelming evidence of voter/election irregularities, and certified fraudulent state election results," he said. "The Republican Party needs real leaders that have the courage to stand up and fight for what’s right, and Vernon Jones is that person for Georgia."

In a recent interview with Just the News, Jones explained his change of parties. "I didn't leave the Democratic Party, it left me with its radical policies," he said.

A source familiar with Jones' campaign plans said he has settled on one Twitter handle already: "FeelTheVern."

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