Vernon Jones: Gov. Kemp ‘cut and run’ on Trump

Vernon Jones, a former Democratic lawmaker in Georgia’s statehouse who’s running in 2022 against the state’s Republican governor as a Republican, accused him Monday of failing the Republican Party and lacking leadership.

Speaking to “The Sara Carter Show” podcast about Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Jones accused Kemp of working against former President Donald Trump. He also said Kemp did not hold former potential Democratic candidate Stacy Abrams accountable, and instead accused Kemp of working alongside Abrams at the expense of the Republican Party.

Jones claimed that evidence of election fraud in Georgia exists, telling host Sara Carter that there still needs to be election reform in order to ensure the sanctity of future elections.

“I wasn’t going to run this year again. I was just wanting to have the president get reelected because I think he deserved it, he earned it. And when I saw how they treated him in Georgia with our election fraud, if you will, and I saw how he was treated in other states, I couldn’t leave the battlefield,” he said.

“And then I saw my own governor, Gov. Brian Kemp, that this president [Trump] helped get elected—when I saw him cut and run, I’m like ‘What is going on?'” he said, possibly referencing Kemp’s refusal to overturn President Joe Biden’s narrow victory in the state, before alleging there was a “backroom deal” between Kemp, Stacey Abrams, and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

“But then when I realized […] he was a part of that backroom agreement with Stacey Abrams and the secretary of state [Brad Raffensperger], where they came up agreement on the executive side. They changed and manipulated our state election laws when only the members of the General Assembly can do that.”

Jones is likely referring to the consent decree—a legal settlement—signed by Raffensperger on March 6, 2020 that addressed accusations about a lack of statewide standards for judging signatures on absentee ballot envelopes, following a lawsuit by the Georgia Democratic Party arguing that minorities had been disproportionately impacted when their ballots were rejected. Abrams was supportive of the decree.

According to the Associated Press, the decree spelled out the details of the process, which required signature-matching.

Jones alleged Kemp was “afraid of” Abrams and that “he thought by having that agreement with her that she wouldn’t run again,” referencing the close 2018 gubernatorial race between the two that made Abrams a household name.

“He did not have the ability to go and change election laws, pandemic or not,” Jones charged. “Let me tell you, our Constitution does not say any event there’s a pandemic, then you can change election laws through executive an executive branch.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.