ELLIJAY, Ga – Gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones (R) attended and spoke at the Georgia Republican Convention over the weekend.
Jones, former Democrat turned Republican, continued to make his case against Governor Brian Kemp (R) and that Georgians need a real leader.
He added that people outside of the GOP establishment were quick to welcome him over from the Democrat Party. Jones believes he’s the person to grow the Republican party by bringing in people who hadn’t previously voted for the GOP, such as conservative minorities and young people.
“I’ve been conservative all my life, more conservative than a lot of Republicans I served within the state legislature,” Jones stated. “I’ve been a legislature longer than Brian. I’ve been a chief executive longer than Brian. My experience stacks right there with him.”
Jones said he’s happy for people to vet his qualifications for the role and cited his record on cutting taxes, managing police, water/sewer, and transportation departments, airports, more than 8,000 employees, and budgets. He’s also overseen an election office on the local level
“I’ve been an executive for eight years. Brian’s been an executive for four years,” Jones remarked. “I’ve been battle-tested.”
As for the money to run statewide, Jones didn’t appear concerned about Kemp’s campaign war chest. He’d rather run a grassroots campaign because he has the leadership experience to back it up on the state and federal levels.
“If you couldn’t trust the Governor in 2020, how can you trust him in 2022, more importantly in 2024,” Jones commented before pivoting to his record for stumping Trump in 2020 and his vocal support for an election integrity investigation.
He continued to hit hard at Kemp, flat out staying the incumbent is in trouble with the people in Georgia. Kemp was met with boos and cheers during his speech at the convention. However, Kemp’s also bounced back with some Republicans following SB 202.
Jones doesn’t believe anything Kemp has done since the 2020 election will ultimately save him in 2022.
“We can’t have somebody who wants to talk like DeSantis and then walk like Mitt Romney,” Jones mocked Kemp before adding he can bring the true conservative leadership.
Jones likes to claim he’s the only one who can beat Stacey Abrams (D), who is just to enter the race. Kemp recently challenged that stating he’s the only person who has actually beat the Democrat powerhouse.
ELLIJAY, Ga – Georgia Agricultural Commissioner Gary Black (R) spoke about the importance of the Republican party retaking Senator Raphael Warnock (D)’s seat in 2022.
“They (President Joe Biden and Warnock) said they want to fundamentally change America. I fundamentally object to that,” Black stated before listing the rising gas prices, Middle East conflict, and small business crisis erupting in the United States.
Black believes he can provide the leadership that Georgians need in the U.S. Senate and that people choose to vote for him, not against someone else.
He also believes the GOP is healthy in Georgia with approximately 60 percent new attendees turning out for the state’s Republican Convention over the weekend.
“We’ve had the need for a cycle or two to get back to ownership of campaigns at the local level. Ownership of our values and a willingness to share them wherever we go particularly during campaign season. To put forth a positive message and a positive vision for the future of the state and the country,” Black commented.
The Agriculture Commissioner has worked closely with the Trump administration on Georgia’s farming issues. He would love to have the former President’s endorsement, but more importantly, Trump’s economic message doesn’t change. Black wants to keep Trump’s policies in place.
Black’s the first candidate to enter the U.S. Senate race with a statewide base in place. He’s served as the Agriculture Commissioner since 2011 and many across the state have already reached out to show their support for his candidacy.
Two Republicans Kelvin King and Latham Staddler entered the Senate race earlier in the year. Many wait to see if UGA great Herschel Walker will enter the race after Trump urged him to earlier in the year. However, Walker hasn’t taken any steps toward declaring his candidacy. Former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler, who lost to Warnock in January, did recently meet with Trump and could be contemplating another run.
Former Senator David Perdue and Former Congressman Doug Collins have opted not to run for the Senate in 2022.
ELLIJAY, Ga – Georgia State Senator Burt Jones (R), of Jackson, inferred that he will on the 2022 ballot in a statewide race on Wednesday.
Jones’ name has been connected to the lt. governor and governor’s race. The district 25 senator recently visited former President Donald Trump in Mar A Lago, but Jones hasn’t made an official announcement yet.
He was one of the strongest supporters for investigating the 2020 General Election, asking for a Special Session to investigate the issue in November. The move, presumably, cost Jones his chairmanship of the Insurance and Labor Committee.
“[You] can’t overturn [an election] without evidence, but you can’t have evidence if you don’t investigate,” Jones stated about his efforts regarding a special session.
Jones added he just wanted a proper investigation into the issues surrounding the 2020 election, including a forensic audit.
“People just want to know what the truth is,” he remarked. “If we had a significant third-party forensic audit to validate one way or the other these absentee ballots which came in the tens of thousands – a volume that we’ve never seen before in the state – I think people could live with the results, whether they liked them or not.”
He’s glad the case examining 147,000 ballots in Fulton County is moving forward because Georgia’s had three election cycles with alleged interference of some sort. Democrats and Republicans both reported voter fraud in either 2016, 2018, or 2020.
Last week, incumbent Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan (R) announced he wouldn’t be seeking reelection in 2022, choosing to devote his time toward GOP 2.0. The organization hopes to guide the Republican Party into the post-Trump era.
On Tuesday, Senate President Pro Tempora Butch Miller (R), of Gainesville, announced his intentions to run for lt. governor. Last month, former Representative Vernon Jones, a Democrat turned Republican, declared his candidacy for Governor. Incumbent Governor Brian Kemp (R) will be running for reelection.
Jones admitted that running for statewide office is a “serious undertaking” and required a lot of “soul searching” before making a final decision.
ATLANTA – Earlier today, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan released a statement on his decision to not run for reelection. He plans to focus on forging a new version of the Republican Party.
Duncan’s political energy will go toward the organization GOP 2.0. The group seeks to reform the Republican Party through policy, empathy, and tone, or PET for short.
“It always feels coldest right before the sun rises. I believe that is the exact moment in time the Republican Party is caught in right now, and I am committed to being a part of creating those better days ahead for our conservative party all across this country. The national events of the last six months have deeply affected my family in ways I would have never imagined when I first asked for their support to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2017. Through all of the highs and lows of the last six months they have never left my side and are once again united behind me in my pursuit of a better way forward for our conservative party – a GOP 2.0.
Today, I am announcing that I will not be seeking reelection for a second term as Lieutenant Governor. It is truly an honor to serve as Lt. Governor and I have no intention of slowing down on my policy over politics platform. The people of Georgia elected me to serve four years and I will give them nothing less. I look forward to working with the Senate during the upcoming Redistricting special session this fall and the 2022 legislative session starting in January. Our office will continue to go to work each and every day looking for ways to positively affect the lives of all 11 million Georgians.
In the coming months, I will begin transitioning a majority of my political energy toward helping to build out an organization called GOP 2.0 on a national level. This organization will focus on healing and rebuilding a Republican Party that is damaged but not destroyed through a strategy called P.E.T. Project. GOP 2.0 will work hard every day reminding Americans the value of conservative Policies through genuine Empathy and a respectful Tone. This effort will no doubt be challenging but well worth it because both this country and this Party deserve better.”
Duncan supported the election results in November 2020 and earned the ire of former President Donald Trump (R) as well as his supporters.
Trump already endorsed Congressman Jody Hice (R) in his bid against incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R). He’s likely to find to endorse candidates in the Lt. Governor and Governor’s race too.
Duncan’s decision and Trump’s involvement in Georgia politics speak to the divide within the current Republican Party. It’s unclear which direction will prevail. However, Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R) lost her leadership position in part because she wasn’t “towing the party line.”
She chose to continue to speak out about Trump and “the big lie” about the 2020 election, a narrative that many Republicans continue to believe.
Predominately, Republicans are choosing to stand by Trump for the time being.
With Duncan out of the race, the talk will turn to who will decide to run. Several Georgia GOP legislators might be weighing their options. Jeanne Seaver of Savannah announced her campaign previously.
On the Democrat side, State Representative Derrick Jackson (Fayette – D) announced in April and State Representative Erick Allen (Smyrna – D) announced in March.
GAINESVILLE, Ga – Former Ninth District Congressman Doug Collins (R) announced his intentions to not run in 2022 for either the governor or U.S. Senate.
Collins joined a law firm and started his own radio program following his loss in the 2020 primary for retiring Senator Johnny Isakson’s (R) seat. Raphael Warnock (D) went on to win the seat in the January run-off, but it will be up again in 2022 once the term officially expires.
In an online statement, Collins said, “this is goodbye for now, but probably not forever. I do plan on staying involved in shaping our conservative message to help Republicans win back the House and the Senate and help more strong conservative candidates get elected here in Georgia. I believe that we, as conservatives, must be able to clearly communicate our values and I will help keep that fight going.”
I’m announcing today that I will not be a candidate for any office in the next election cycle. Read more ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/IruVtnjZl7
— Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) April 26, 2021
The former Representative served the Ninth District from 2013 to 2021 and became a strong supporter of President Donald Trump (R).
Now that Collin’s out of the race, it opens doors for Georgia Republicans who were possibly waiting in the wings for his decision.
Two Republicans have announced intentions to run against Senator Raphael Warnock: military veterans and businessmen Kelvin King and Latham Saddler. President Donald Trump has encouraged UGA hero Hershel Walker to enter the race.
Many speculate Congressman Buddy Carter (R), and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr will enter the Senate race.
As for Governor, Brian Kemp’s up for reelection and many expect Stacey Abrams (D) to run again.
After Kemp denied Trump the opportunity to overturn Georgia’s election results, the former President actively pushed Collins to primary the governor. Trump’s vowed to campaign in Georgia and remove the elected officials who didn’t side with him.
So far, former Democrat Vernon Jones (R) has thrown his hat into the gubernatorial primary ring.
Kemp appeared to win some public support back by signing the election integrity act last month, but it’s unclear how many rural GOP voters will fall in line at the ballot box. According to Republican activist Debbie Dooley, 15 local GOPs “passed resolutions to essentially censure” the governor on April 10 and 17.
ATLANTA – Former State Representative Vernon Jones announced his intentions to run for Georgia Governor on Friday, April 16 at Liberty Park next to the Georgia State Capitol.
“This is the beginning of a movement whose time has come,” Jones opened. “For those of you who feel the incumbent Governor didn’t fight for you, a new day has dawned.”
Focused on looking past differences of North and South Georgia, race, or class, Jones pledged to bring opportunities for everyone.
He promised election integrity, school choice, support for law enforcement, driving crime out of Atlanta, comprehensive economic plan, natural resource preservation, and creating one Georgia.
Jones a vocal critic of Governor Brian Kemp recently became a Republican, perhaps just to primary Kemp. Previously, Jones denounced the Democrat Party but stated he had no plans of changing Parties. He’s a strong Trump supporter as well.
“Even sitting on the back of the truck won’t change it,” Jones remarked about Kemp’s attempts to rehabilitate his image among some Republicans.
By signing SB 202, Kemp’s appeared to win back some support from disillusioned Republican voters. It’s unclear to what extent in rural Georgia.
Jones added SB 202 didn’t address the issue of changing the election system, but he didn’t elaborate on the needed changes.
Trump’s continued to criticize Georgia elected officials including Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for not supporting his efforts to overturn 2020 election results. The former President promised to haunt these individuals during their 2022 reelection efforts.
So far, he’s made good on his promise, Representative Jody Hice (R-10) announced his intentions to run for Secretary of State and within hours Trump endorsed him. Trump’s floated ideas about those who should run for governor and senator in Georgia.
“Our country and our army are going to be inclusive regardless of race, gender, or orientation. We are building an army. The establishment and outlets are going to come after me. Matter of fact, they already are and you know why? It’s because they know the governor can’t beat Stacey Abrams and they know Stacey Abrams can’t beat Vernon Jones,” the former representative commented while using Trump’s attack the media and fiery rhetoric tactics.
Jones has recently spent several weekends in Mar-a-Lago and told the crowd that he sends his regards.
Jones will have for his time as a Democrat to Republican voters even though he used to describe himself as a “conservative Democrat.”
At his campaign launch, Jones said, “I didn’t leave the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left me.” He continued to talk about his faith-based, hard work, and less government driven values.
He stated that Democrats have two crows “Joe and Jim,” and they have “hijacked” the Civil Rights Movement for political gain and money. Stacey Abrams in his book is “the wicked witch of the south.”
Earlier this week, he asked that Georgian’s show him the same courtesy that they did to former Governors Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal who also switched Parties. The last Democrat governor in Georgia was Roy Barnes in 1999.
ELLIJAY, Ga – Businessman and self-starter Kelvin King took issue with those who called his candidacy for U.S. Senate a Republican strategy.
“I’m not a strategy. I’ve been a Republican for a long time, and I saw an opportunity. I saw a need in our Party to win back this sear and I think I can do it.” King remarked, “I’m not a tool of the Republican Party. No one in the Republican Party said ‘Hey Kelvin, I think you can win because your Black. I think that’s offensive. ”
He does believe he’s the best chance for Republican voters to take back a Senate seat in 2022. Senator Raphael Warnock (D) is up for reelection after winning the January runoff against Kelly Loeffler. Traditionally, Senators serve six years, but the race was for the remaining time in retired Senator Johnny Isakson’s term.
King considers himself a statesman who’s ready to represent Georgia in Washington D.C. if given the opportunity.
King’s a Georgia native who was born in Macon and grew up in Cobb County. He received an appointment to the Air Force Academy and served in the Air Force. Upon returning to Georgia, he began his own construction company out of his home, and now it’s a multimillion-dollar company.
He admitted he didn’t follow politics growing up but tended to vote Democrat until college when he began reading a lot of black history books and other materials. His first Republican vote was for George Bush. Self determination and less government are two ideas that King strongly believes in.
“As long as we have freedom and liberty that means we have the opportunity to succeed or fail on our own,” he stated.
As for cancel culture, King commented that it ultimately hurts innocent bystanders – those not directly involved. He cited MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game from Cobb County. It resulted in millions lost for local businesses. King added that companies and media need to gather more accurate information before making final decisions. Cancel culture doesn’t unite America; it divides the country on a personal level.
Towns County, Ga. – Rebecca Yardley, Chairwoman for the 9 District Republican Party, addressed the 2020 election, possible voter fraud, and 2022 candidates at Thursday’s Towns County Republican Party meeting.
In a mostly packed room of supporters, Yardley started the evening by addressing voter fraud concerns brought forth by the State Executive Committee of the Georgia Republican Party after losing the presidential race and two senate seats late last year. Since that point, Republicans have been eager to find solutions and avoid a repeat in the future. Consequently, the Georgia Republican Party created the Election Confidence Task Force.
“We know that the mainstream media would tell us that there was no fraud. I’m not going to stand here and tell you that,” proclaimed Yardley. “I know first hand that there was fraud.”
Spearheaded by Atlanta attorney Brad Carver, the task force published its recommendations on Wednesday, February 17. The ten-page, nonbinding report is the Georgia Republican Party’s blueprint to state lawmakers as they look to craft election integrity policy for the remaining days of the legislative session.
“We as grassroots activists have got to spend the remainder of this legislative session ensuring that we are staying on top of our legislators to get some election integrity enacted in the Georgia legislature, said Yardley. “I’m proud to say that your Georgia Republican Party is leading the way on that.”
Here are some of the recommendations from the task force:
- Requiring photo ID verification for all absentee ballot applications and ballots.
- Allowing videotaping of all election activity except voters casting their ballots.
- Eliminating third-party and government solicitation of absentee ballot applications.
- Replacing all Dominion software with auditable and transparent software.
- Prohibiting so-called mobile voting locations, except in the case of a natural disaster.
See the entire report here.
It’s worth noting that Republican leadership wasted no time tackling this session’s voter integrity issues. Speaker David Ralston (R – Blue Ridge) echoed this message in a pre-session press conference where he announced the creation of a Special Committee of Election Integrity. The house committee has been consistently meeting while debating many of the exact solutions that the Election Confidence Task Force outlined in its report.
While Yardley spent a majority of her time talking about the Election Confidence Task Force, it was her comment about current Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that sent the room into applause.
“…It may get me in trouble with the Georgia Republican Party, but I’ll take those licks and keep on ticking. Ladies and gentlemen, this district chair ain’t backing Brad Raffensperger,” said Yardley.
However, Yardley wasn’t done giving the room something else to cheer about. As an outspoken supporter of Doug Collins, she also weighed in on the Senate and Governor’s race.
“They [AJC] posted a great article about a friend of mine today. So if you know Doug Collins; if you like Doug Collins; or if you’re like my family and you love Doug Collins, you know that he’s looking at running either in 2022 for the Senate seat or to be the next Governor of the great state of Georgia.”
ATLANTA, Ga – After taking the first step and filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, former Senator David Perdue (R – Ga) announced this morning that he would not seek a Senate seat in 2022.
Perdue would have faced off against Senator Raphael Warnock (D – Ga), who beat Kelly Loeffler in the January runoff. Senator Jon Ossoff won Perdue’s seat in the same runoff.
In a statement, the former Georgia senator called his decision a “personal, not political one” and expressed confidence in the Republican Party defeating the Democrats in 2022. He added that Georgia “is not a blue state.”
He also put pressure on the General Assembly to close any election law loopholes, so every legal vote counts.
See the full statement below:
After much prayer and reflection, Bonnie and I have decided that we will not enter the race for the United States Senate in Georgia in 2022. This is a personal decision, not a political one. I am confident that whoever wins the Republican Primary next year will defeat the Democrat candidate in the General election for this seat, and I will do everything I can to make that happen. As we saw in my race in November, Georgia is not a blue state. The more Georgians that vote, the better Republicans do. These two current liberal US Senators do not represent the values of a majority of Georgians.
I am hopeful that the Georgia General Assembly, along with our statewide elected officials, will correct the inequities in our state laws and election rules so that, in the future, every legal voter will be treated equally, and illegal votes will not be included. I will do everything I can to be helpful in this effort.
It has been the honor of my life to have represented the people of Georgia in the United States Senate.
Bonnie and I want to thank my fantastic staff and everybody in the state and around the country for all the help they have given us. May God continue to bless Georgia and the United States of America.
David and Bonnie Perdue”
With Perdue officially bowing out, it opens the Republican field to potential newcomers. Trump’s promised to participate in Georgia’s primaries after the 2020 election. He’s unhappy with Governor Brian Kemp (R – Ga) for not overturning the results.
ELLIJAY, Ga – Former Congressman Doug Collins didn’t rule out a potential governor or U.S. Senate run in 2022. He confirmed he’s weighing his options and would make a decision in the future.
“I’m concerned about conservatism right now,” Collins expressed. “If that means I need to be on the ballot, I’ll be on the ballot.”
There’s a divide in the Republican party between Trump supporters and those trying to pull away from the embattled former President, especially after January 6.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky) appeared to try to appease both sides by voting to acquit Trump and then condemn his actions in a follow-up speech.
Collins stated that McConnell’s always been about “McConnell and the Senate,” not the America First agenda set forth by Trump. On Tuesday, February 16, Trump responded to McConnell’s speech. In it, he called the minority leader a “dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” and forewarned Republican candidates that they “will not win again” following McConnell.
“I’m very disheartened, and I think it was disingenuous of McConnell to make [the statement] after the fact. In my mind, it’s hard to say, well, it was unconstitutional, so I just voted to acquit, but then give a scathing speech and op-ed where basically, he said, ‘I hope he gets charged in court. You don’t do that.’” Collins remarked about McConnell’s actions.
The former Congressman commented how he’s talked to people all over the country who are tired of “the work as usual” and want honesty.
“We’ve got to get all Republicans on the same page,” Collins stated. “There has to be a fix here. The President laid out a great vision. We saw a lot of stuff, and now they can’t be well, we don’t like some of what he did, so we’re going to turn and try to do it differently. That’s going to be a hard row.”
President Trump asked Doug Collins if he wanted to run for Governor during one of his rallies for David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Trump’s made it clear he intends to find someone to primary Kemp after the Governor refused to overturn the election.
Earlier this week, former Senator David Perdue (R – Ga) filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission for a potential 2022 Senate run against Senator Raphael Warnock (D – Ga).
Approximately 100,000 voters in the Ninth and Fourteenth Districts stayed home during the January 5 runoff. Many of those voters lost faith in the system.
“You let somebody else talk you out of doing what this Constitution gives you the right to do,” Collins expressed to those who stayed home. He added if those people voted, David Perdue at least would have kept his seat.
On January 5, the top vote earner was Senator Raphael Warnock (R-Ga), the second Republican Public Service Commissioner Bubble McDonald, and Senator Jon Ossoff (R-Ga) came third. Republicans turned out, but the Republican stronghold districts stayed home.
“You can’t tell me that Republicans, if they had just shown up that we couldn’t at least get David over the line,” Collins emphasized. “If you did not vote on [January 5] because you let somebody else talk you out of it, I can’t help you.”
He understood that people feel disgruntled after the General Election, but they need to focus and get their heads back in the game.
However, Collins believes that Georgia Republicans need Trump to win in the state. The party needs to find candidates who can win and effectively get the message out.
“We’ll have an advantage because Joe Biden is frankly so bad, and the House and Senate have shown their true colors. We’re going to have plenty to run against, but if we have people who won’t vote, it’s going to be a problem,” the former Congressman stated.
Collins ended the interview by telling listeners to look out for information soon about his future apart from running for office.