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.
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 – Tenth District Representative Jody Hice (R) addressed why he’s running for Secretary of State against incumbent Brad Raffensperger (R).
On Monday, Hice officially announced his candidacy and has been making his case ever since. He even earned former President Donald Trump’s endorsement shortly after his announcement.
Hice cited his work as the ranking member on House Oversight and Government Operations committees and trying to fight House Resolution One. The bill recently passed the House and moved to the Senate. The piece of legislation backed by Democrats addresses the voting process and voting rights. If passed, it would become the biggest overhaul in U.S. election law in a long time.
Congressman Hice claimed that the Democrats used the pandemic to change the way the country votes and mentioned how he urged Raffensperger to not mass mail ballot applications in Georgia. He blamed Raffensperger’s actions for leading to a” horrendous decaying of election integrity in Georgia.”
Hice added that the erosion of voter confidence led to the election of two Democrat Senators in Georgia. He stated that Georgia and the nation are “suffering because of the dismal performance by the Secretary of State.”
Raffensperger continues to stand by the 2020 election results and that the Secretary of State’s Office ran fair and honest elections. He leveled blame at Hice for spreading the election conspiracy and furthering voter mistrust.
Hice still believes that a thorough investigation would reverse the 2020 Presidential Election outcome and advocated for an unbiased audit of the Dominion voting machines.
Both Hice and David Belle Isle, Republican Secretary of State candidate, agreed that Dominion voting machines need to be investigated and Georgia should look into using different machines.
When asked if Trump is just using Hice to settle his score with Raffensperger, Hice called those stories false much like the story about Trump asking Raffensperger to overturn the election. The Congressman added that those stories are the Secretary of State Raffensperger’s narrative. Trump did ask Raffensperger to find 11,870 votes and he urged an investigator to scrutinize ballots in Fulton County.
ALPHARETTA, Ga – Former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle hosted his Secretary of State campaign kick-off on Monday, March 22 at Alpharetta City Park and called out Raffensperger’s elections procedures.
Trump supporter State Senator Brandon Beach (R – Alpharetta) introduced the candidate. Beach spoke about until after the November election his cell phone seldomly rang and everyone who called asked about election reform.
“The reason I’m supporting David is I know he’s a man of character, integrity, and he’s smart and that matters. He would not have entered into an agreement that really made two sets of rules for voting in person and absentee ballots,” Beach said.
He wants Georgia to take the path of Florida concerning reform and have the 2022 results in by the 11 p.m. news. Belle Isle promised Beach that he would make that happen.
Belle Isle spoke about how it’s tough to be a conservative, and many feel attacked either by the media, corporate America, or big tech.
“Most people raise their families and most people live applying conservative values and conservative principles whether they know it or not,” the candidate remarked. “The entire purpose of the Republican Party is to bring human flourishing within the reach of every American, within the reach of every Georgian. We do this by opening the widest door possible.”
He directly leveled the blame for the November elections at Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R). Speaking to election integrity, he stated that every vote must be validated.
“The disaster that was the 2020 election was not something that happened to Brad Raffensperger. It was something that happened through Brad Raffensperger,” Belle Isle commented. He then listed the actions Raffensperger took leading up to the 2020 primary and general elections.
The list included signing the compromise settlement agreement with Fair Fight Georgia and Stacy Abrams, the mass mailing absentee ballot applications before the primary, drop boxes, and allowing signature verification only for absentee ballots.
Belle Isle added that he’s not “here to say one way or another” if the election was stolen, but what happened in Georgia was worse than that – “an election that can neither be proved fraudulent or fair.” The Secretary of State’s Office did conduct three recounts that all resulted in the same outcome.
Later, the former mayor stated he was in favor of removing no excuse absentee ballots, but understands it’s an uphill battle.
According to Belle Isle, the settlement agreement “made it difficult for counties to efficiently reject an invalid mail-in ballot” and it took three people to reject a mail-in ballot. The rejection rate dropped from three percent to practically zero percent.
Citing the Senate runoff, he commented how thousands stayed home because they lost confidence in the system. Typically, turnout does drop if a Presidential election isn’t on the ballot.
Belle Isle believes he’s the best man for the job with a focus on restoring voter integrity as the backbone of his campaign.
“The Secretary of State needs to be hands-on. The Secretary of State needs to be in that office on a daily basis. I mean looking at the election process from top to bottom. A lot of what’s been happening here is essentially someone governing from afar, leading from afar, and handing it off to his lieutenants,” Belle Isle stated about Raffensperger’s handling of the Secretary of State’s Office.
Congressman Jody Hice also entered the Secretary of State race on Monday.