Former Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., has launched a primary challenge against anti-Trump Gov. Brian Kemp, R-Ga., in Georgia’s 2022 gubernatorial race, which is poised to be one of the most competitive races of next year’s midterm elections.
Perdue formally declared his candidacy on Monday in a campaign announcement where he slammed Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for dividing Georgia Republicans, and not looking into the voting irregularities from the state’s presidential election last year.
“Look, I like Brian [Kemp],” Perdue said in his announcement. “This isn’t personal, it’s simple. He has failed all of us and cannot win in November.”
“Instead of protecting our elections, he caved to [Stacey] Abrams and cost us two Senate seats, the Senate majority, and gave Joe Biden free reign,” Perdue added. “Think about how different it would be today if Kemp had fought Abrams first instead of fighting Trump. Kemp caved before the election, and the country is paying the price today.”
President Trump endorsed Perdue’s senatorial re-election bid in 2020, although he narrowly lost to Democrat Jon Ossoff in the state’s runoff election earlier this year. Trump reacted to Perdue’s announcement, stating that Perdue was a “great Senator, and he truly loves his State and his Country.”
“Wow, it looks like highly respected Senator David Perdue will be running against RINO Brian Kemp for Governor of Georgia,” Trump wrote. “David was a great Senator, and he truly loves his State and his Country. This will be very interesting, and I can’t imagine that Brian Kemp, who has hurt election integrity in Georgia so badly, can do well at the ballot box (unless the election is rigged, of course). He cost us two Senate seats and a Presidential victory in the Great State of Georgia.”
Trump also enthusiastically teased the idea of a potential Perdue campaign during a rally in Dalton, Georgia in September.
“Are you running for governor, David?” Trump enthusiastically asked. “Did I hear he’s running?”
Trump has vowed unseat Brian Kemp, writing in a statement last week that he would endorse “some good Republican” to primary Kemp. While Trump has yet to formally endorse Perdue, he spoken highly of him on numerous occasions.
Should Perdue win the Republican nomination, he will likely face off against Democrat Stacey Abrams. Trump nicknamed her “Stacey ‘The Hoax’ Abrams,” in lieu of her past comments asserting that there were no election irregularities during Georgia’s 2020 presidential election process, despite her unsubstantiated accusations two years before claiming that she lost the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election due to election irregularities and voter suppression.