A Democratic Georgia state representative officially endorsed President Donald Trump, making him the first state-elected Democrat in Georgia to do so.
Bucking his party, state Rep. Vernon Jones on Tuesday endorsed Trump for the 2020 presidential election, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Democratic lawmaker not only cited Trump’s efforts to grow the U.S. economy, but also his work to help the African-American community.
“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,” Jones said Tuesday.
He added: “There are a lot of African-Americans who clearly see and appreciate he’s doing something that’s never been done before. When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That’s just a fact.”
The renegade Democrat touts a long history in Georgia politics.
Elected in 2016 to the Georgia House of Representatives, Jones represents the state’s 91st House District — a heavily Democratic area with a substantial minority population. He previously served as the CEO of DeKalb, and had served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1993 to 2001.
Although he does not represent a swing district, Jones has worked alongside GOP lawmakers in the Georgia Capitol on a number of conservative initiatives.
He cosponsored a bill earlier in 2020 that called for a crackdown on those living unlawfully the United States, and he has previously posted positive comments about the president on social media, according to the AJC. (RELATED: Trump Strikes Back, Criticizes New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Over State Vs. Federal Authority To Reopen Economies)
“President Trump is increasing his support in the Black community because people know that it was under his policies that Black Americans achieved such great success before the economy was artificially interrupted,” Jones said in a statement provided by the White House. “Black voters also appreciate the President’s unprecedented funding of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and his commitment to criminal justice reform.”
Jones said he is not switching parties, but is making the endorsement because he believes Trump is a transformative figure in the White House.
“A philosopher once said, ‘One courageous man in the crowd is a majority.’ I’ve got the courage to express my convictions,” the Democratic lawmaker said. “I believe that Donald Trump is the best person to lead this country going forward.”
Update: this post updated to include additional commentary from Jones.
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