Mike Collins Beats the Trump-backed Vernon Jones in Georgia Runoff
ATLANTA — The owner of a transportation company Mike Collins easily won the Republican runoff election for Georgia’s 10th congressional district on Tuesday, defeating Vernon Jones, a former state legislator and Democrat turned Republican with the support of former President Donald J Trump.
Mr. Collins’ victory was mentioned by The Associated Press. If he wins the November general election, he will represent a firmly conservative district stretching from the suburbs of Atlanta to Augusta.
Mr. Collins benefited from brand awareness within the district – he ran for the seat in 2014 and narrowly lost to Jody Hice – and higher fundraising than the rest of the primary field. He received an endorsement from Governor Brian Kemp in the final week of the runoff, which was the governor’s first and only approval in a primary.
Mr. Jones initially jumped for governor in the Republican primaries and challenged Mr. Kemp. But Mr Trump persuaded him to switch to the House race in a bid to clear the field for his favorite candidate, former Senator David Perdue, who lost last month. Mr. Jones, a former DeKalb County executive, struggled to raise money and gain the trust of some voters in light of his past in Democratic politics. He also faced accusations of misbehavior towards womenwhat he denied.
But he leaned on his support of Mr Trump and molded himself as a black conservative in the mold of the former president. In fiery speeches and public statements, Mr. Jones repeatedly insulted both Mr. Kemp and the prominent Democrats, while reiterating Mr. Trump’s false claims of voter fraud.
The second campaign between Mr. Jones and mr. Collins got personal in the last few weeks. Mr. Collins, whose father represented the area in Congress, described Mr. Jones as an outsider and opportunist. The campaign of Mr. Collins distributed rape whistles with Mr. Jones’ name on it, referring to the allegations of misconduct.
mr. Collins continued with the stunt, write on Twitter that a gun was a more effective method of self-defense against assault. Mr Jones then filed a police report alleging that Mr Collins encouraged violence.