BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Vernon Jones visited Union County on Saturday, July 17. He fired up the crowd of over 100 people at the Pat Haralson Civic Center.
Much of Jones’ rhetoric focused on topics he had addressed before such as his decision to become a Republican, his love of Donald Trump, and life-long commitment to conservative beliefs even as a Democrat.
He joked about moonshine, honored veterans, local elected officials who were in attendance, and attacked Governor Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams. Jones believes he’s the only candidate in the race who can beat Kemp and Abrams. Republican Kandiss Taylor is also in the governor’s race.
Speaking for almost 45 minutes to the north Georgia crowd, they appeared receptive to Jones’ message and were on their feet by the end. Jones climbed on a chair to tower over the crowd, which is where he remained until the end.
Jones took two questions from the audience before leaving for another engagement.
The first woman asked can people trust Jones. He responded by asking for a chance and condemning Kemp for his actions. He promised to govern like Trump and “keep his foot up both parties.”
Jones noted he had more executive experience than Kemp; he served 8 years as chief executive of Dekalb County as a Democrat.
The second question focused on a topic that hits home for many people in the north Georgia mountains, who’ve experienced a drug addiction or have a family member suffering from addiction. North Enotah Drug Coordinator Honaker detailed how politics has gotten in the way of drug court and they live in constant fear for the life of the program.
Accountability Court serves as a form of reform for those arrested on drug-related charges. Jones explained he has a history with drug court and the importance of funding them. He added that his budget would be focused on providing county incentives. The North Enotah Drug Court recidivism rate is 27 percent. Recidivism rate measures “criminal acts that resulted in rearrest, reconviction or return to prison.”
The accountability or drug courts usually cost the state less than incarceration and give individuals the tools to combat their addictions. The programs typically last between 18 and 24 months and include counseling, support groups, and periodic testing. Georgia’s one of the states who utilize these programs the most.
She added that Kemp said something similar to her about his support for drug court, but she remains afraid for the program’s funding. The drug court coordinator proceeded to detail how state probation/parole services have lost their office and she offered them a room in her office, so they would have somewhere to meet their probationers. The probation officers have 120 to 150 people underneath them, but for the most part, they are working from home.
“Our money was taken away for probation, and they don’t have a place to meet their people,” the North Enotah Drug Court Coordinator expressed.
Jones reiterated that he’s worked on a local level and funded local jails and courts.
“I’ve been there. I’ve had to command a police department. I’ve had to go to mothers and wives who lost their husbands or sons due to the line of duty. [Kemp’s] never served on that local level,” Jones stated.
He then pivoted to supporting law enforcement and his background in corporate America as well as how he wants to distribute funds more efficiently.
Not backing down, North Enotah Drug Court Coordinator Honaker finished with she “would appreciate backup from her boss and after her boss got into that position, I would like my ultimate boss to not forget about me.”
Jones joked that Union County was holding him accountable and closed the meeting.
ELLIJAY, Ga – Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) expressed that the country is at a “major crossroads” and it’s up to like-minded individuals to “preserve” it.
Giuliani’s officially endorsed gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones(R) in Georgia after experiencing a lack of leadership from incumbent Brian Kemp (R). The embattled former mayor and ex-Trump Attorney attempted to contact Kemp several times following the November 2020 election and claimed the Georgia governor never returned his calls.
He added that the Georgia legislature conducted the “Best job [of] investigating the [election] fraud” last December. A special session concerning election fraud wasn’t called in December, but the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate held separate hearings to hear from individuals who experienced inconsistencies during that election cycle.
A lawsuit is currently in the court system concerning possible election fraud in Fulton County.
Giuliani attended one of those hearings and presented the highly contested security footage from State Farm Arena that featured some Fulton County poll workers pulling ballots from underneath tables.
The Secretary of State’s office conducted multiple recounts following the election and maintain that the Georgia election was honest and fair. They found no evidence of significant fraud.
Two weeks ago, New York suspended Giuliani’s law license in large part to the ex-Trump attorney’s election claims.
Giuliani wasn’t satisfied with either Kemp of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) claiming they never analyzed the video and going so far as to call Raffensperger “a damn liar.”
He believes Vernon is the “right man for Georgia” with experience running a government office as an executive as well as a legislator. He added that Vernon “went through hell to be Republican” and the former Representative understands Trump’s vision.
Giuliani’s in the midst of his own trials and tribulations. A new book is claiming Giuliani told Trump to “just say we won” on election night. A move that reportedly infuriated Trump advisors. Giuliani’s stated that the claims were false and made by anti-Trumpers.
In April, Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office were raided by federal agents who seized computers and cell phones for an investigation into Trump’s business dealings. The former New York Mayor has stated they didn’t take the Hunter Biden laptop, however.
ELLIJAY, Ga – Gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones (R) attended and spoke at the Georgia Republican Convention over the weekend.
Jones, former Democrat turned Republican, continued to make his case against Governor Brian Kemp (R) and that Georgians need a real leader.
He added that people outside of the GOP establishment were quick to welcome him over from the Democrat Party. Jones believes he’s the person to grow the Republican party by bringing in people who hadn’t previously voted for the GOP, such as conservative minorities and young people.
“I’ve been conservative all my life, more conservative than a lot of Republicans I served within the state legislature,” Jones stated. “I’ve been a legislature longer than Brian. I’ve been a chief executive longer than Brian. My experience stacks right there with him.”
Jones said he’s happy for people to vet his qualifications for the role and cited his record on cutting taxes, managing police, water/sewer, and transportation departments, airports, more than 8,000 employees, and budgets. He’s also overseen an election office on the local level
“I’ve been an executive for eight years. Brian’s been an executive for four years,” Jones remarked. “I’ve been battle-tested.”
As for the money to run statewide, Jones didn’t appear concerned about Kemp’s campaign war chest. He’d rather run a grassroots campaign because he has the leadership experience to back it up on the state and federal levels.
“If you couldn’t trust the Governor in 2020, how can you trust him in 2022, more importantly in 2024,” Jones commented before pivoting to his record for stumping Trump in 2020 and his vocal support for an election integrity investigation.
He continued to hit hard at Kemp, flat out staying the incumbent is in trouble with the people in Georgia. Kemp was met with boos and cheers during his speech at the convention. However, Kemp’s also bounced back with some Republicans following SB 202.
Jones doesn’t believe anything Kemp has done since the 2020 election will ultimately save him in 2022.
“We can’t have somebody who wants to talk like DeSantis and then walk like Mitt Romney,” Jones mocked Kemp before adding he can bring the true conservative leadership.
Jones likes to claim he’s the only one who can beat Stacey Abrams (D), who is just to enter the race. Kemp recently challenged that stating he’s the only person who has actually beat the Democrat powerhouse.
ATLANTA – Former State Representative Vernon Jones announced his intentions to run for Georgia Governor on Friday, April 16 at Liberty Park next to the Georgia State Capitol.
“This is the beginning of a movement whose time has come,” Jones opened. “For those of you who feel the incumbent Governor didn’t fight for you, a new day has dawned.”
Focused on looking past differences of North and South Georgia, race, or class, Jones pledged to bring opportunities for everyone.
He promised election integrity, school choice, support for law enforcement, driving crime out of Atlanta, comprehensive economic plan, natural resource preservation, and creating one Georgia.
Jones a vocal critic of Governor Brian Kemp recently became a Republican, perhaps just to primary Kemp. Previously, Jones denounced the Democrat Party but stated he had no plans of changing Parties. He’s a strong Trump supporter as well.
“Even sitting on the back of the truck won’t change it,” Jones remarked about Kemp’s attempts to rehabilitate his image among some Republicans.
By signing SB 202, Kemp’s appeared to win back some support from disillusioned Republican voters. It’s unclear to what extent in rural Georgia.
Jones added SB 202 didn’t address the issue of changing the election system, but he didn’t elaborate on the needed changes.
Trump’s continued to criticize Georgia elected officials including Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for not supporting his efforts to overturn 2020 election results. The former President promised to haunt these individuals during their 2022 reelection efforts.
So far, he’s made good on his promise, Representative Jody Hice (R-10) announced his intentions to run for Secretary of State and within hours Trump endorsed him. Trump’s floated ideas about those who should run for governor and senator in Georgia.
“Our country and our army are going to be inclusive regardless of race, gender, or orientation. We are building an army. The establishment and outlets are going to come after me. Matter of fact, they already are and you know why? It’s because they know the governor can’t beat Stacey Abrams and they know Stacey Abrams can’t beat Vernon Jones,” the former representative commented while using Trump’s attack the media and fiery rhetoric tactics.
Jones has recently spent several weekends in Mar-a-Lago and told the crowd that he sends his regards.
Jones will have for his time as a Democrat to Republican voters even though he used to describe himself as a “conservative Democrat.”
At his campaign launch, Jones said, “I didn’t leave the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left me.” He continued to talk about his faith-based, hard work, and less government driven values.
He stated that Democrats have two crows “Joe and Jim,” and they have “hijacked” the Civil Rights Movement for political gain and money. Stacey Abrams in his book is “the wicked witch of the south.”
Earlier this week, he asked that Georgian’s show him the same courtesy that they did to former Governors Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal who also switched Parties. The last Democrat governor in Georgia was Roy Barnes in 1999.
ELLIJAY, Ga – Former State Representative and Trump ally Vernon Jones continued to flirt with the idea of running for Georgia Governor as a Republican.
Jones switched the Republican Party in January after previously stating he had no plans to do so. However, his tweets “if I were governor” suggested he wants to primary current Governor Brian Kemp (R).
At 10 a.m. at Liberty Park on Friday, April 16, Jones will make an announcement whether he is running or not. If he does announce, it’s like Trump will endorse him.
He’s promised an “overhaul” of Georgia’s election system if he was governor but didn’t go into details.
As for switching parties, Jones asked for the same treatment as past Republicans who started out as Democrats, such as former Governor’s Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal. If reelected, Kemp will be the first life-long Republican to reattain the office since Reconstruction.
Jones added that not everyone agrees, and no one should expect 100 percent agreement. He claimed that Democrats disagreed with his conservative nature for 30 years, and now, he no longer has to abide by their rules.
Kemp’s leadership or lack there of was the focus of Jones talking points. He wanted to know why Kemp let MLB pull the All-Star game from Georgia, what actions did he take to prevent it? Did Kemp speak with Delta about their objections to SB 202. According to Jones, Kemp’s failures to address voter integrity issues months ago, cost Georgia money.
Accusing Kemp of hiding and letting the General Assembly clean up his mess, Jones attacked the governor for not taking a proactive role in November 2020. He didn’t call a special session to discuss election issues. Several Democrats and Republicans have praised Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) for not bending to the will of Trump during that time.
However, other Georgia voters lost faith in the system after the General Election. Legislators spoke at length during the 2021 Session about constituents calling to express their voting concerns.
Fresh off his weekend and an event where he “crowd-surfed” to a young man in a wheelchair because he wanted a picture, Georgia State Representative, Vernon Jones (D) says, “Let me be clear about one thing. I’m committed to this President. I believe in this President. I took a leap of faith and I believed in that crowd and that crowd caught me.”
This was not Jones’ first event in support of President Donald Trump either. He is campaigning for the President in the current elections saying that he is a life-long Democrat, but he would not vote for Joe Biden.
Comparing the two, Jones said that Biden has destroyed black men and women through mass incarceration. He has a record of doing nothing whereas Trump has produced results like the First Step Act restoring families.
Focusing on business and the economy, Jones listed several things as accomplishments in Trump’s Presidency like correcting trade agreements to a fair agreement for America, grew the economy evidenced by businesses expanding and job growth, increased pay for those in military service, and supported historical black college funding.
Jones said, “He has done more in the past 47 months than Joe Biden has done in the past 47 years.”
He added that people are being shamed for supporting Trump by the media and others as they are being portrayed as racists and bigots. But these people are just people. People who don’t care what color you are, people who just love their country.
Many Democrats are turning in support of the President and for himself, according to Jones, because they see the craziness in their own party, the anger in their own party, and the violence in their own party.
Jones referenced the incident over the weekend of a Trump supporter who was attacked and lost two teeth in the beating he took. He said this is the game that these liberals are playing. They are trying to incite fear through violence, fear through the pandemic, and fear through the media.
In full support of Trump, he said in an interview that the President is the best hope in support of our first and second amendment rights. He later added that voting for Biden isn’t even a vote for Biden as president. “He wouldn’t be the president, it would be Kamala Harris,” he said.
He added that she would be even scarier.
Going down the ballot from Trump, Jones also showed his support for Doug Collins and the work he has already done for Georgia as a Representative for the 9th Congressional District. While he didn’t specifically comment on Loeffler, he did say that Warnock was the wrong choice saying, “… it’s a vote for our civil liberties to be lost. It’s a vote for illegal immigration. It’s a vote for taking away the tax cut. He is dangerous.”
However, he didn’t stay long with this race and returned again to the Presidential Election and its importance as he said he was going to continue supporting and campaigning for Trump through his birthday even, October 31. He said that despite the polls, he wants Georgia to be all for the president in his re-election. Especially since the opposition has the major media supporting and propping up Biden’s campaign.
Jones pointed to the media and incidents with Biden meeting with Russian officials. He asks why none of them are asking Biden about it and why he or anyone in his campaign wouldn’t denounce the allegations or answer the questions.
With more events coming and debates on the way, Jones said he is looking to continue campaigning hard as he stands behind his words and endorsements.
It was a common theme during his statements. Constantly focused on the election, on Trump, and on the future of America. Many other stories are focused on his crowd surfing and the meaning or consequences of that day.
Jones stated in the video, “Show me the next crowd. I’ll do the same thing.”