Sparks fly in Georgia after Trump pushes pro-MAGA candidate out of governor's race into congressional primary
Vernon Jones on Twitter.

After Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones switched to the Republican Party and ran in the primary to challenge Gov. Brian Kemp amid the urging of former President Donald Trump, his campaign never really picked up steam.

Ultimately, another candidate positioned himself as the Trump loyalist who would govern according to the "Big Lie": Former Sen. David Perdue.

And Trump, who had originally wanted Jones to run, reportedly persuaded him to drop out with the vow to back him for a congressional seat instead.

Jones obliged, and is now running in the 10th Congressional District, currently held by retiring Rep. Jody Hice. But he is entering a crowded field of candidates — and already, he is encountering sharp opposition from that field. On Tuesday, Michael Collins, another candidate running as a pro-Trump outsider, released a video slamming Jones as a "conman" — and worse.

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"The voters of GA10 don't want a corrupt, carpetbagging, lifelong Democrat from DeKalb County accused of rape representing them," wrote Collins. "They want a pro-Trump, America 1st fighter who's lived, worked and raised a family in the district."

The rape line is a reference to an allegation made against Jones in 2005 when he was an executive of DeKalb County.

Kemp, himself once the hand-picked outsider candidate endorsed by Trump in 2018, fell out of favor with the former president after he refused to help overturn Joe Biden's win in Georgia — although he subsequently signed a law sharply cutting back on voting rights in the state.