GOP Rising Star Vernon Jones Running For Governor, Reports Say

(FreedomBeacon.com)- Governor Brian Kemp is going to face some stiff competition in his own party as he seeks re-election in 2022.

Last week, Vernon Jones, a former state Representative in Georgia, announced he would be challenging Kemp in the Republican primary for the gubernatorial election in 2022.

Jones is a former Democrat who switched to the Republican Party. He said in his campaign announcement that he wanted to give conservatives in Georgia an alternative to Kemp.

Last Friday, Jones held a campaign rally at Liberty Plaza in Georgia’s Capitol. At the event, he said Kemp failed to administer a fair and secure election in 2020. In effect, he blamed the governor for certifying the victory for President Joe Biden.

In announcing his candidacy for governor, Jones said at the rally:

“They believe that I can and I will beat Stacey Abrams. They know it. Georgians know it. Why? Because I’m unbought, I’m unbossed and the left, the Democrats and the liberal media cannot play that race card with me.

“I dare you to. Let’s go. I am pro-Second Amendment. I am pro-life, and I will work with anyone who is willing to put Georgia first.”

Jones, an African-American, has been chided for his previous support of former President Donald Trump. He even spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention as a former Democrat. He crossed the party lines to support the former president in his re-election bid.

Speaking at a rally in January 2020 with Trump, Jones said he was no longer a Democrat. He said:

“I’m coming home to the Grand Old Party! I’m officially joining the Republican Party!”

About a month ago, Jones teased his challenging Kemp for the Republican primary. On March 22, he tweeted:

“I’m looking closely at Georgia’s race for Governor. If it weren’t for Brian Kemp, Donald Trump would still be President of the United States. We need courageous conservatives leading our state, not those afraid to stand up to the Radical Left.”

Jones was one of Trump’s strongest allies, and now, he hopes to continue to push the former president’s “America First” agenda with a “Georgia First” agenda of his own.

First up for Jones will be Kemp in the primaries. Kemp has simultaneously been criticized by and received praise from Republicans.

The 2020 presidential election was the area where Kemp has been criticized. Many believe Kemp and the other Republicans leading the state’s elections should have done more to stop the certification of the vote, and look into possible election fraud.

On the positive side, Kemp trumpeted the state’s new election security laws, saying they are making sure that future elections in Georgia are safe, secure and fair.

If Jones were to get by Kemp in the primary, he may face Abrams in the general election. Abrams ran, and lost, to Kemp in 2018.

Abrams works hard to get the vote out for Democrats now, and she, too, has her strong supporters and detractors.