The “black Donald Trump,” as he called himself, lost his GOP primary runoff election this Tuesday, despite an endorsement from the real Donald Trump.
Vernon Jones, a former state-level Democrat lawmaker from Georgia who catapulted to fame when he endorsed Trump in April of 2020, lost 25.5 percent to 74.5 percent against Mike Collins, an equally pro-Trump businessman and trucking company owner.
Jones’ loss marks yet another stinging defeat for Trump, whose choice for Georgia governor, former Sen. David Perdue, lost the state’s GOP gubernatorial primary race last month.
During the same race, Jones and Collins scored too close to one another — 21.5 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively — so a runoff race was scheduled for this Tuesday.
The final weeks of the just-concluded race between the two men grew particularly nasty, with Collins exploiting a dubious, decades-old rape allegation against Jones to score political points.
On June 13th he posted a tweet that read, “Although some use a rape whistle for protection against sexual assault, a 9mm is the more preferred form of protection. #TheMoreYouKnow.”
The tweet contained two pictures — one of an apparent rape whistle with Jones’ website address etched on it, and another of a pink gun.
Although some use a rape whistle for protection against sexual assault, a 9mm is the more preferred form of protection. #TheMoreYouKnow pic.twitter.com/rN4ATK4wYX
— Mike Collins (@MikeCollinsGA) June 13, 2022
In response, Jones filed a complaint with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.
“He’s encouraging violence against me, my family, my supporters. These are the same false attacks that liberals used against President Trump, Justice Kavanaugh, and Justice Clarence Thomas,” he said in a statement to local media.
Collins responded by sarcastically accusing Jones of trying to “Red Flag” him.
My Democrat opponent tried to Red Flag law me! 🤣 https://t.co/QA4YhvaJzW
— Mike Collins (@MikeCollinsGA) June 15, 2022
The accusations of wrongdoing weren’t one-sided.
Jones bashed Collins “for lending his campaign $465,000 after the federal government forgave $920,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans to his privately held trucking company,” according to the Associated Press.
“Jones says Collins effectively dumped federal money into his campaign. Collins denies doing so, saying it helped him keep people employed,” the AP reported.
“He is the crook. He stole hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” Jones said during a Jan. 6th debate after Collins accused him of being a “conman.”
Although both Jones and Collins are pro-Trump, Jones had a habit of reminding voters that only one of them benefitted from the former president’s endorsement.
“I’m Trump vetted, I’m Trump trusted and I’m Trump endorsed. I don’t have to pretend I was with President Trump. … I held the line for President Trump. And I’m not backing off President Trump,” he reportedly told voters at an event earlier this month.
Indeed, Jones even reportedly had a habit of referring to himself as the “Black Donald Trump.”
Part of the problem, however, was that Collins had some serious big name recognition.
“Mr. Collins benefited from name recognition within the district — he ran for the seat in 2014 and narrowly lost to Jody Hice — and higher fund-raising than the rest of the primary field. He received an endorsement from Gov. Brian Kemp in the final week of the runoff campaign, marking the governor’s first and only endorsement in a primary,” The New York Times notes.
He was also apparently “a dear family friend” of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich:
Mike Collins will be an excellent servant of the people of GA-10. He is a lifelong conservative, a hard worker, and a dear family friend. Support @MikeCollinsGA for #GA10.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) April 5, 2022
One thing both men shared was speculation over the results of the 2020 presidential election. However, Collins has reportedly focused less on relitigating the past election.
“Jones has hosted showings of ‘2000 Mules,’ a film that purports to use cellphone location data to show Democratic operatives were paid to illegally collect and drop off ballots. Experts say the claims made in the movie are fatally flawed,” according to the AP.
“Collins, too, has shown support for such claims, attending a screening, but the issue has featured less prominently in his campaign,” the AP notes.
This evening, to a sold-out crowd, I hosted a showing of @DineshDSouza #2000Mules in #GA10 to showcase what we already know to be true: Georgia isn’t a blue state. It’s a STOLEN state.
The Silent Majority is tired of being silent. pic.twitter.com/jno7GoX1qy
— Vernon Jones For Congress (@VernonForGA) May 19, 2022
As for Tuesday’s election, it appears Jones has accepted defeat and is committed to ensuring that “Republicans take back GA in November.”
While tonight didn’t go the way we planned, the fire in my belly for the America First movement will never be extinguished.
All eyes towards November.
Georgia is not a BLUE state. It was a stolen state. And we’re going to take it back.
— Vernon Jones For Congress (@VernonForGA) June 22, 2022
.@VernonForGA says his defeat was not a loss because it was “[God’s] will… so I am fine.”
His campaign tells me Vernon has not spoken to @MikeCollinsGA tonight but that he is committed to making sure Republicans take back GA in November. #gapol #GA10 pic.twitter.com/jhjpL2W2km
— Claudia Kelly-Bazan (@ClaudiaKellyB) June 22, 2022
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