Vernon Jones, former Democrat lawmaker in Georgia, mulls GOP challenge to Gov. Brian Kemp
'White Liberals have destroyed the black community. Now it's time for the black community to destroy the Liberals,' says Vernon Jones
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Last week, Jody Hice, the four-term Republican congressman from east-central Georgia, announced that he will run to replace incumbent Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger – also a Republican – in 2022. Hice's bid for the job is an attempt to oust the man who Trump loyalists say cut a backroom deal with Stacey Abrams that allowed for the former president's loss in the Peach State, as well as the losses of former Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in January.
Like Hice, former state legislator Vernon Jones is mulling a run to replace Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who Jones (as well as Hice and Trump) says is the man who stood between Trump and winning the Peach State and possibly the Oval Office for a second time.
Last April, Jones became the first state elected Democratic official in Georgia to endorse Donald Trump's reelection bid saying that he supported without hesitation the then-President's handling of the economy, his support for historically black colleges, and his criminal justice reform initiatives. In January, Jones announced he was officially leaving the Democratic Party to become a member of the GOP.
"White Liberals have destroyed the black community. Now it's time for the black community to destroy the Liberals," Jones said during a recent interview on Just the News AM.
Jones bashed what he perceives to be extreme hypocrisy from state Democrats on a variety of political issues. Discussing the criticism of the recently signed sweeping state-election bill in Georgia, which Democratic activists, including Stacey Abrams, are working hard to brand "Jim Crow 2.0," Jones argues that the Democratic cry of 'racism' against the new bill is actually a way to demean black voters and turn them against one another internally in an effort to keep them tied to one pattern of voting and one political party.
"The real suppression is how white Democrats are using blacks." He says they claim the new bill "suppressed the black vote, when, in fact, it's protecting the black vote. They're demeaning black people by saying that they can't have an ID, they cannot afford an ID ... you need an ID when you go to the hospital, you need an ID when you get the COVID shot. This has nothing to do with suppressing the black vote.
He goes so far as to compare the actions of the modern Democratic Party to those of slave owners in the Antebellum South. "In the old days, when the slave owners would catch a slave and would take him back to the plantation, he would get a(nother) slave to beat the slave in front of a group of slaves to put that fear in them: 'Do not leave this plantation.' And that's what Democrats are doing. White Democrats are using this technique to keep blacks continuing to vote for them, because they saw with President Trump many blacks start to leave the Democratic Party."
"I think it's ironic that the Jim Crows are trying to call somebody else a Jim Crow. As you know, the Democratic Party has always been a part of Jim Crow," he continued.
In fact, Jones thinks the new law, signed last Thursday evening by Governor Brian Kemp, arguably doesn't go far enough to protect the voting process in Georgia. "I would love to have seen it go further in terms of our voting system, and what type of system we use that would really restore integrity to our election process." Jones is also deeply critical of what he calls the 'theatrics' of Kemp's signing of the bill. To him, Kemp's efforts are "too little, too late," insofar as he believes they should have come months before, not after, the 2020 election.
"All this (the bill) came about because our governor failed and our secretary of state failed Georgians. How is it that Stacey Abrams came in and got them, through a backroom deal with the secretary of state, to change what the constitution provides that only General Assembly members can do? ... This is theatrics, not leadership," says Jones, and "I joined the Republican Party not just to be a member, I joined to provide some leadership and show how we can win and protect our values including the Constitution."
For the moment, Jones talks big about how he would govern differently and better than current GOP leadership in Georgia, but has not yet fleshed out his policy plans or ways to strategically implement them in any type of concrete detail. Perhaps, though, he will soon have the opportunity to do just that. Jones is currently spending his days criss-crossing the state, thinking about the potential of seeking higher office – he also recently launched a non-profit called "Waking Up America" aimed at promoting traditional American values "including hard work, independence, and self-respect," according to the organization's website.
He feels strongly that Governor Kemp does not "have what it takes to fight the Left." He says he thinks "it's going to take someone who doesn't mind standing up," and that for these reasons, he fully anticipates a robust pool of primary candidates will challenge the incumbent Republican, including, perhaps, himself.
He says, "I am seriously evaluating what we're seeing so far. It's been just amazing. Ultimately, I'm going to need to make that decision, and we will be making that decision. But I can tell you this ... Get ready. Someone's gonna 'Feel the Vern.' Someone's gonna 'Get Verned.' I'll tell you that."