A black Democratic lawmaker in Georgia has resigned his seat a week after having endorsed President Trump and enduring a furious local backlash.
State Rep. Vernon Jones announced Wednesday morning that he would not complete his term after the local Democratic Party had announced censure plans and he drew primary challengers that the state party leaders began backing.
“Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation,” he said in a statement, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend not to complete my term effective April 22, 2020.”
State Sen. Nikema Williams, chairwoman of the state Democratic Party had issued a statement denouncing Mr. Jones for backing Mr. Trump in which she called the black lawmaker an “embarrassment” who “does not stand for our values.”
But the Lithonia Democrat remained defiant Wednesday, accompanying his resignation with a series of tweets in which he said, among other things: “I don’t care what the Democrat Party does to me. What are they going to do? Spank me?”
Mr. Jones concluded with “the left hates me because they can’t control me. They can stay mad.”
He also tweeted Wednesday that “I look forward, however, to continuing to serve my community in other ways and doing all I can to re-elect @realDonaldTrump. We will Make America Great Again.”
Despite backing Mr. Trump, Mr. Jones said Wednesday on the local “Rashad Richey Morning Show” that he will not become a Republican.
“I don’t plan to leave the Democratic Party because somebody’s got to be in there to hold them accountable — hold them accountable to how they are treating black people (and) root out the bigotry,” he said shortly after his announcement.
According to the Journal-Constitution, the conversation with Mr. Richey was “fiery and, at times, combative” and ended in a way perhaps emblematic of the whole previous week.
“Hang up on this clown, please,” Mr. Richey said.