Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones has changed his mind about resigning from the state legislature, announcing Thursday that he would “remain on the battlefield” despite the Democratic outcry over his endorsement of President Trump.
Mr. Jones, a black Democrat, said he received “an overwhelming amount of support” from his constituents, as well as “fellow Georgians and fellow Americans from across this country,” after declaring Wednesday that he had “left the plantation” and would step down.
“You know what, America?” said Mr. Jones in an online video. “I thought about it, and I talked to my family and I talked to my supporters, and because of what you did for me, I am going to remain on the battlefield. I am going to complete my term, I am going to put my country before my party.”
He added, “That was emotion. That was motivation.”
Mr. Jones has been decried by fellow Democrats since announcing earlier this month that he would support Mr. Trump’s 2020 reelection bid, prompting House leaders to endorse his primary foe, Rhonda Taylor, and local Democrats to seek to censure him.
“Little did I know that I would receive such a barrage of attacks and name-calling by the far left of the Democratic Party,” Mr. Jones said.
The Lithonia Democrat served in the state legislature from 1993 to 2001, then returned in 2017 after an eight-year stint as DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer.
Democratic Party of Georgia chairwoman Nikema Williams denounced him in an April 14 statement, calling him “an embarrassment to the Democratic Party” who “does not stand for our values.”
Once again, Mr. Jones vowed Thursday to do “everything I can to help Donald J. Trump get reelected.”
“He’s the man for this job, he’s the man for this office,” said Mr. Jones. “You know what, America? Together, we’ve already made a change. I got you and you got me. I’ve got gaps and you’ve got gaps, but together, America, we have no gaps.”
He signed off with, “I love you, let’s continue to have dialogue, and let’s continue to make America great again. Peace out, America.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, responded to the Georgia legislator’s change of heart by tweeting, “Thank you for demonstrating the courage of your convictions.”