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Topic subjectRE: What’s up with Vernon Jones endorsing Trump
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=4&topic_id=13379164&mesg_id=13379210
13379210, RE: What’s up with Vernon Jones endorsing Trump
Posted by Jay Doz, Fri Apr-17-20 12:37 PM
He's always been conservative, and he has always been a thorn in the side of Georgia Democrats. I'd even argue that he just ran as a Democrat (in Georgia's most Democratic county) because it was politically advantageous for him to do so. I mean, the man voted for George W. bush twice.

Note that DeKalb County is the *only* one of Georgia's 159 counties with a "CEO" position, so it's a uniquely powerful role that allowed Jones to entrench himself through machine politics for decades.

That entrenchment got so bad that not only was Jones investigated for corruption (https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt--politics/further-charges-expected-from-dekalb-corruption-report/hXaxEg1EEm3rJZstkbAq1N/), but his successor went to jail for it (https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/burrell-ellis-to-fight-conviction-on-perjury-extortion-charges-before-georgia-supreme-court). FWIW, Jones was never indicted and Lee May's conviction was overturned, but the whole thing was enough exacerbate the county's secession movement (https://www.wabe.org/dekalb-county-corruption-leads-new-majority-white-cities/). The state legislature even tried step in at one point (https://www.ajc.com/news/frustrations-mount-over-bill-eliminating-dekalb-ceo-job/0tJ2rONKs9aWnVvqW4s78I/).

With all of that said, machine politics only work so well in a rapidly-changing, suburban county like DeKalb, so while he's managed to leverage his base (specifically my home community of south DeKalb) for quixotic runs for US Senate and US Congress, it was clear that his influence had waned significantly over the years by the time he got walloped in his run for county sheriff (the David Clarke comparison are very apt lol). I'd honestly thought he was politically dead in the water, but then Rep. Dawkins-Haigler retired and he was able to shore up a couple of thousand votes to earn a seat in the state legislature.

Today, he's a very junior member of a minority caucus, so he has no real power or influence anymore, but his endorsement still carries enough weight to make a national splash.

Growing up in DeKalb County, I used to think Vernon Jones was untouchable. He *was* DeKalb County. But the statewide Democratic party apparatus has always needed DeKalb voters, so his bullshit (his corruption, conservatism, anti-LGBT, anti-choice bullshit) was kind of tolerated for the greater good during GOTV efforts. Looks like folks are finally tired of his shit though.