(RoyalPatriot.com )- Democrat-turned-Republican Vernon Jones announced on Monday that he was ending his bid for Georgia Governor and would instead run for Congress in the upcoming midterms.
In announcing his decision to drop out of the race, Jones endorsed former Senator David Purdue who is challenging incumbent Governor Brian Kemp in the GOP primary. Purdue is also endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Jones entered the race in April and has consistently trailed far behind both Purdue and Kemp in the polls.
But it appears Jones’ decision to switch from gubernatorial to congressional race wasn’t of his own doing.
CNN reported last week that Trump invited Jones to Mar-a-Lago last month to encourage him to drop out of the primary because Jones’ presence in the race was splintering the anti-Kemp vote. In exchange for dropping out, Trump said he would endorse Jones if he ran for Congress from either the 6th or 10th congressional district.
So Jones agreed. And on Wednesday he announced his bid to run in the Republican primary for Georgia’s 10th District which already had 11 Republicans vying for the seat.
On Thursday, Jones posted a video to Twitter of the former President endorsing him.
Republican Mike Collins, who has consistently polled way ahead of the rest of the crowded District 10 primary field, immediately launched a website called realvernonjones.com that includes the same opposition research Jones’ critics in Georgia shared with the Trump team when Jones announced his bid for governor.
The Collins campaign also released a scathing 30-second ad accusing Jones of being a corrupt conman and a “Democrat with a rap sheet.”
The ad did not go over well with former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn who had previously endorsed Mike Collins in the District 10 primary. This week, Flynn released a statement rescinding his endorsement of Collins and endorsing Vernon Jones instead.
According to Georgia Republican strategist Chip Lake, the primary for District 10 was already chaotic, but Trump endorsing Jones sent it “completely off the rails.”
District 10’s Jasper County GOP County Chair Mary Patrick told NBC News she couldn’t figure out why former President Trump would get involved in a crowded primary race. She said she and other party chairmen from District 10 aren’t seeing much support for Vernon Jones.
Georgia’s primary will be held on May 24.