Former U.S. Sen. David Perdue will challenge Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for governor, he announced Monday, setting up the 2022 Republican primary battle, while Democrat Stacey Abrams is likely to wait for the winner.
Perdue has been tinkering with the bid for months, encouraged by former President Donald Trump’s publicly-sponsored plans. His plans were confirmed by Politico on Sunday. Supporters of the 71-year-old former senator, who lost his seat to Democrat John Ossoff, say Perdue can unite Republicans to defeat Abrams, while Kemp cannot hope to oust Trump’s staunch believers.
“Perdue could bring together the Trump base and those Republicans, independents and moderate Democrats who would find Abrams too radical,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote on November 12. “Perdue is a candidate who can beat Abrams.”
But Kemp is promising an all-out brawl while trying to win a second term, with Kemp spokesman Cody Hall saying Perdue is running into losing his Senate seat only to “soothe his own bruised ego”. .
“The man who lost the United States Senate to Republicans and brought a final year of skyrocketing inflation, open borders, runaway government spending, and repealing culture on the American people, now holds the office of the governor of Georgia, the national face of the radical left. wants to lose from the movement,” Hall said.
Perdue had been backing Kemp as recently as June, presenting him at the state Republican Party convention. Kemp said Thursday he cannot control whether Purdue will be a “man of his word.”
Purdue’s entry may be pulling Kemp to the right as they vie for primary support. Kemp had hoped to use Abrams’ Wednesday entry in the gubernatorial race to rally Republicans to his side, but Trump issued a statement after Abrams claimed that his strongest supporter would never vote for Kemp. Will give Trump has repeatedly hit out at Kemp, saying Kemp had not done enough to reverse President Joe Biden’s election victory in Georgia.
“After what they did with regard to electoral integrity and two badly run elections, the president and then the two Senate seats, the MAGA base will not vote for him,” Trump said. “But some good Republicans will run, and some good Republicans will get my support, and some good Republicans will win!”
Trump’s Political Action Committee conducted a poll showing that with Trump’s support, he could beat Kemp in a Republican primary. The former president added fuel to that fire at a September 25 rally in Perry, Georgia, when he pointed to Perdue among a group of party leaders.
“Are you running for governor, David?” Trump asked. “Did I hear he’s running?”
Born in Macon, Perdue was a business consultant and then an executive at companies that moved clothing production to Asia. He became CEO of Reebok, textile firm Pilotex, and discount retailer Dollar General. Former governor and cousin of US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, David Perdue was elected to the Senate in 2014 by defeating Democrat Michelle Nunn.
Aside from Trump’s displeasure with Kemp, it’s unclear what Perdue’s platform will be. In an interview with Gainesville radio station WDUN-AM last month, he talked about education as a potential issue, and compared the Trump economy to Biden’s “frenzy spending.” But he spoke about hard feelings over Trump’s electoral loss, saying Biden won a “dubious election.”
“We have a divided party in Georgia right now. Forget about me, it’s divided,” Perdue said. “And a lot of people feel like those in power haven’t fought for them, and in 2020 withdrew a lot of things that didn’t.” Had to do.”
Perdue joins a slate of Trump-backed candidates in the Georgia Republican primary, including Herschel Walker running against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, Sen. Bert Jones running for lieutenant governor and Rep. Jody Haise running for secretary of state. Are included.
Other Republicans are already trying to challenge Kemp, including former Democrat Vernon Jones and GOP activist Candice Taylor. Jones, who backed Trump’s endorsement, on Sunday called Kemp and Purdue “two peas in a pod.”
Abrams, whose narrow defeat to Kemp in 2018 earned him a national reputation as a voting rights activist and party leader, has no declared opponents on the Democratic side.
“While David Perdue and Brian Kemp fight each other, Stacey Abrams will fight for the people of Georgia,” Abrams’ top assistant Lauren Groh-Wargo wrote on Twitter.
Some Republicans fear a bitter Perdue-Kemp primary will enable Abrams to win. Rome State Sen. Chuck Hufftler tweeted that Perdue’s entry was “good news for Stacey Abrams. Bad news for Republicans.”
Emory University political science professor Andra Gillespie said it was unclear whether the Kemp-Perdue primary would be “demonetizing or demoralizing the general election” for Republican voters, with some staying home. The national environment is likely to be stronger for the GOP in 2022, and Gillespie said, “Republican voters are going to vote for a Republican candidate, and they will put aside whatever differences they have to support that Republican candidate.” Will keep it.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /