A Black Georgia Democrat who endorsed President Trump for reelection, criticized the Democratic party and then resigned – has retracted his resignation.
“I will not allow the Democrats to bully me into submission,” Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones said April 23.
Jones announced on Twitter that he would remain in office for the remainder of his term after receiving support for his endorsement, which he said was “emotional” and “motivational.”
“I thought about it, and I talked to my family, and I talked to my supporters. Because of what you did for me, I am going to remain on the battlefield,” he said in a video posted with the tweet.
“I am going to complete my term. I am going to continue to put my country before my party, and I’m going to do everything I can to get Donald J. Trump reelected,” he added.
Yesterday, I announced my intentions to resign from my office. But shortly thereafter, the outpour of support I received was too great for me to ignore.
I will not allow the Democrats to bully me into submission. I will not let them win.
I will NOT resign. #MAGA pic.twitter.com/gR2MsU5Rb3
— Vernon Jones (@RepVernonJones) April 23, 2020
Jones had told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a statement April 22 that he was retiring from the state House, a week after telling the newspaper that he was endorsing the president for reelection.
“Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation,” Jones said. “Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend not to complete my term effective April 22, 2020.”
The Georgia Democrat said in the video that he received a “barrage of attacks and name-calling by the far left.”
The chairwoman of Georgia’s Democratic Party, Nikema Williams, slammed Jones after his endorsement, saying “Vernon Jones doesn’t speak for Georgians, and neither does Donald Trump — which is why Georgians will send him home in November 2020.”
Jones currently represents portions of metro Atlanta’s DeKalb and Rockdale counties in the state House. He has been the subject of a complaint alleging that he doesn’t live in the district. He has called it baseless.
The Democrat made waves last week when he endorsed Trump, saying in a video that he’s backing the Republican president because of his support for criminal justice reform and historically black colleges and universities.
The endorsement resulted in swift blowback from fellow state Democrats, many of whom publicly said they were making donations to Rhonda Taylor, a community activist running for Jones’ seat in the state’s Democratic primary set for June 9. State Sen. Nikema Williams, chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, issued a statement calling Jones an “embarrassment.”
Jones is no stranger to controversy. He previously served as DeKalb County’s CEO, weathering allegations of theft in the role, and has often clashed with other Democrats on policy differences around immigration and LGBT issues.
“The Left hates me because they can’t control me,” Jones said on Twitter on Wednesday.
Jones spokesman CJ Pearson said he is exploring other ways to continue serving the community as he supports Trump’s reelection.
Jones’s decision could clear the runway for Taylor to take the seat representing the overwhelmingly Democratic district.
Contributing: TheHill.com and ABCNews.go.com