Vernon Jones drops out of governor’s race to run for Congress

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Former state Rep. Vernon Jones dropped out of the Republican gubernatorial race Monday and announced instead he will run for a seat in Congress.

In a post on Twitter, Jones threw his support in the May 24 GOP gubernatorial primary behind former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who is challenging incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp for the Republican nomination.

“He is a good man who loves our state and loves our country,” Jones wrote of Perdue.

Jones, a former Democrat and former DeKalb County CEO, was an early challenger to Kemp’s reelection bid. Most political observers didn’t give Jones much of a chance of winning the primary, and Perdue’s entry into the race in December further lengthened Jones’ odds of success.

Jones will be running for an open seat in the 10th Congressional District. U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, is leaving Congress to run for Georgia secretary of state with the backing of former President Donald Trump.

Jones joins a crowded field of about a dozen Republicans in the heavily Republican district. The 10th stretches from Henry and Newton counties northeast to the Georgia border, including Athens.

This story available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.