Georgia state rep who endorsed Trump reverses resignation, calls Dems 'the bigots they claim to hate'
A Democratic Georgia lawmaker has reversed an initial decision to step down from office after facing backlash for endorsing President Trump for reelection last week.
"Yesterday, I announced my intentions to resign from my office," Rep. Vernon Jones, D-Lithonia, tweeted on Thursday.
"But shortly thereafter, the outpour[sic] of support I received was too great for me to ignore. I will not allow the Democrats to bully me into submission. I will not let them win. I will NOT resign."
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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, responded by thanking Jones for "demonstrating the courage of your convictions."
Jones made waves last week when he endorsed Trump, saying in a video that he’s backing the Republican incumbent because of Trump's support for criminal justice reform and historically black colleges and universities.
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The endorsement resulted in swift blowback from fellow state Democrats, many of whom publicly said they would donate to Rhonda Taylor, a community activist running for Jones’ seat in the state’s June 9 Democratic primary. State Sen. Nikema Williams, chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, issued a statement calling Jones an “embarrassment.”
In another tweet Thursday, Jones accused Democrats of acting like "the bigots they claim to hate."
"The way the Democrat Party has treated me this past week has made one thing clear: they are the bigots they claim to hate and I won’t be silent about it," he said.
In an accompanying video, Jones said: "I will continue to let the Democratic Party know that the bigotry within this party is hurting African-Americans -- and more and more African-Americans are thinking independently."
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Jones is no stranger to controversy, weathering allegations of theft while serving as CEO of DeKalb County between 2001 and 2009.
Jones is not the only Democratic lawmaker to catch heat for praising Trump. A group of Detroit Democrats reportedly will vote on Saturday on whether or not to censure Michigan Rep. Karen Whitsett, D-Detroit.
Whitsett previously told Fox News' Laura Ingraham that Trump saved her life by pushing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve so-called "off-label" use of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that the president has controversially touted in public.
Fox News' Charles Creitz contributed to this report.