State Rep. Vernon Jones, an African-American lawmaker from Georgia who recently spoke out in support of President Trump, said Wednesday that he will step down due to the onslaught of harassment he has received.
“Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation,” Jones said in a statement obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend to not complete my term effective April 22, 2020.”
Jones said that he is sick and tired of “me and my family being attacked and harassed by the Democrat Party for putting my country before my party.”
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Jones was on the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” on Monday and defended his decision to back Trump over Joe Biden, and said the blowback he faced is not unusual. He said Democrats have a “big tent” but there seems to be little room for an “independent and conservative black man like me and others.”
“We’re supposed to have our agenda just completely left to the side,” he said. He said he disagrees with the party’s move to the left on immigration. He said while he believes in legal immigration, he does not believe taking resources from Americans and giving them to illegal immigrants.
Nikema Williams, the Georgia Democratic Party chairwoman, called Jones an “embarrassment to the Democratic Party.”
“He chose to stand with the racist president who has made an all-out assault on black Americans … during the most important election of our lifetimes,” she said.
Jones was seen as a controversial figure in local politics and has been accused of bid-rigging while he was CEO of DeKalb County. The paper reported that the district attorney, back in 2013, said evidence did not support the prosecution.
“When Trump talks about putting America first, I understand that and I agree with that because America has not been put first,” he said. Jones said all Americans have benefited under Trump.
Jones, who represents the 91st House District in the Georgia General Assembly, compared Trump with Biden, who wrote the controversial 1994 crime bill that was passed by then-President Bill Clinton. He said the Biden bill “wiped out” a whole generation of African Americans.
Jones said in the statement that he will continue to work to “help the Democrat Party get rid of its bigotry against Black people that are independent and conservative.”
“I endorsed the White Guy (Donald J. Trump) that let Blacks out of jail, and they endorsed the White Guy (Joe Biden) that put Blacks in jail,” he said.