Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones, a Democrat, has endorsed President Donald Trump for a second term, saying the president's policies have helped the economy and African Americans in particular.
What are the details?
Rep. Jones explained to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his endorsement of President Trump was an easy decision.
"It's very simple to me," he told the outlet. "President Trump's handling of the economy, his support for historically black colleges and his criminal justice initiatives drew me to endorse his campaign."
"There are a lot of African Americans who clearly see and appreciate he's doing something that's never been done before," the lawmaker continued. "When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That's just a fact."
In a statement to WGCL-TV, Jones offered further praise of President Trump's actions on criminal justice reform while criticizing former President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on the issue.
The legislator told the outlet, "Thousands of first-time offenders have been able to move on with their lives and begin the path to restoration and positive, productive re-entry into society as a result of President Trump's leadership with the First Step Act and criminal justice reform."
"A generation of African American families have been devastated by draconian policies that Joe Biden supported and voted for when he served in the U.S. Senate," Jones continued. "A change was needed and President Trump took action."
Jones then brought up the case of Alice Marie Johnson, whose sentence was commuted by President Trump after being denied by President Obama several times.
"What the media often failed to note," the lawmaker wrote, "was that her pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears when she approached the previous administration."
BREAKING: This morning, Georgia Rep. Vernon Jones (D-Lithonia) told me he is endorsing Donald Trump for President.â�¦ https://t.co/HNcUZC401u— Hayley Mason (@Hayley Mason)1586881895.0
The news of Jones endorsing President Trump did not go over well with the representative's fellow Democrats.
The Journal-Constitution reported that "Democratic officials tried Tuesday to disown Jones," with the state party's chairwoman, state Sen. Nikema Williams, calling Jones an "embarrassment."
Fellow Democratic Rep. James Beverly told the outlet, "We're not sure what was on Vernon's mind. It's antithetical to what we believe in."
Beverly, who is now endorsing Jones' primary opponent, added, "We can't support an ideology that's diametrically opposed to who we are and what we value."