Republican congressional candidate Vernon Jones is set to face a runoff in Georgia against GOP opponent Mike Collins after neither candidate had more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary.
Jones, a former Democrat who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump in the race, trailed behind Collins with 21.6 percent percent of the vote at the time the Associated Press declared a run-off election. Collins secured 25.6 percent of the vote, roughly 4,500 more votes than Jones, with more then 95 percent of ballots counted. The two will have a second chance to run against one another for the state’s 10th Congressional district.
Jones famously announced that he was joining the Republican Party on January 6, 2021—months after he resigned from his position in Georgia’s House of Representatives to campaign on behalf of Trump.
Since crossing the aisle, Jones has become a staunch conservative who has expressed controversial opinions, including one statement in which he referred to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is white, as his “African-American brother.”
Earlier in April, Jones also claimed that he believe being gay is a choice and that “you can go from being straight, to being gay, to being transgender and all these other genders.”
That same month, the GOP candidate claimed that Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar hates Christians after she posted a video of a worship leader playing a religious song on the guitar and signing during a flight, with the caption: “I think my family and I should have a prayer session next time I am on a plane. How do you think it will end?”
“Why do you hate Christians, Ilhan?” Jones tweeted. “If the freedom of religion we enjoy here in America disturbs you, feel free to pack your bags and head back to Somalia, Sudan, or wherever you’re from. Take your brother with you.”
During his congressional campaign, he has vowed to impeach President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on his first day on Capitol Hill.
The endorsement of Jones by Trump is part of the former president’s plan to take down Georgia officials who refused to help him overturn the results of the 2020 election.
However, those efforts seemed to fall flat on Tuesday after the biggest battle in the governor’s race was won by Trump’s rival Governor Brian Kemp, who easily defeated former Senator David Perdue. Perdue was not only backed by Trump but encouraged by the former president to run for governor’s office in the first place.