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Ousted GOP senator to challenge Georgia governor in primary

Endorsed by Donald Trump, former Senator David Perdue said he launched his campaign to stop Democrat Stacey Abrams from taking the governor’s mansion next year.

ATLANTA (CN) — Former Georgia U.S. Senator David Perdue announced Monday that he is running for the Republican nomination in the state's 2022 gubernatorial election.

After losing his Senate seat to Democrat Jon Ossoff in a January runoff after one six-year term, Perdue is eyeing a political comeback.

In the Republican primary on May 24, Perdue will face off against current Governor Brian Kemp, former Democratic state representative Vernon Jones, former U.S. Senate candidate Kandiss Taylor and local activist Jonathan Garcia.

The elected Republican nominee will then move on to the Nov. 8 election to face likely Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost in 2018 to Kemp in one of Georgia's closest gubernatorial elections in decades.

The 71-year-old former senator's campaign announcement comes just days after Abrams launched her campaign for the Democratic nomination. So far, no one else has declared a run on the Democratic side.

"I’m running for Governor to make sure Stacey Abrams is NEVER Governor of Georgia," Perdue said in a tweet on Monday. "We need bold conservatives who will stand up to the woke left, not cave to their radical demands. Join me in this fight to Stop Stacey and Save Georgia."

His campaign website reiterates the same message, with "Join our team to stop Stacey Abrams" displayed on the home page.

Perdue's fear of Abrams winning is cultivated by his close relationship with former President Donald Trump, who encouraged him to run in September at a rally in Middle Georgia.

"Stacey 'The Hoax' Abrams has just announced that she’s running for Governor of Georgia. I beat her single-handedly, without much of a candidate, in 2018," Trump said in a statement last Wednesday. "I’ll beat her again, but it will be hard to do with Brian Kemp, because the MAGA base will just not vote for him after what he did with respect to Election Integrity and two horribly run elections, for President and then two Senate seats. But some good Republican will run, and some good Republican will get my endorsement, and some good Republican will WIN!"

Kemp has been widely criticized by Trump after he refused his demands to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" enough votes to overturn the November election, the results of which have since been certified by Georgia's top election officials.

To make the race even more controversial, senior GOP officials say Perdue told Kemp and his wife Marty earlier this year he wouldn’t run in 2022 and would support Kemp's reelection, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

During last year's Senate election, Kemp campaigned for Perdue and has even made a now-stalled effort to tap Perdue’s cousin, former Governor Sonny Perdue, as head of the state's higher education system.

"Look, I like Brian. This isn't personal. It's simple," Perdue said in a video announcement. "He has failed all of us and cannot win in November. Think about how different it would be today if Kemp had fought Abrams first instead of fighting Trump."

In his video, Perdue also said that he wants to eliminate state income tax and put parents in charge of the schools instead of "the woke left."

As of September, polling shows Kemp had a 44% approval rating, suggesting the race for the governor's mansion will be difficult to predict.

Follow @Megwiththenews
Categories / Government, Politics, Regional

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