CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – The battle for the Republican nomination for Georgia’s governorship officially heated up Monday, when Former U.S. Senator David Perdue announced he will challenge Gov. Brian Kemp’s reelection in 2022.
The winner of that primary will likely go on to face Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, who announced her campaign days prior.
The primary now pits Perdue, a candidate backed by Former President Donald Trump, against the state’s Republican incumbent, who has fallen out of favor with the 45th President over a refusal to support false claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
In his campaign announcement video Monday, Perdue attacked Abrams multiple times and accused Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger of dividing the state and costing the GOP two Senate seats and thereby, the Senate’s majority.
“Think about how different it would be today if Kemp had fought Abrams first, instead of fighting Trump,” Perdue said in the campaign ad. “Kemp caved before the election, and the country is paying the price today.”
Perdue’s claims continued to bolster that false narrative that there was irregularity and tampering with the 2020 presidential race in Georgia, which have been wholly denied and disproven by state and federal election officials through multiple audits and reviews.
A spokesperson for Gov. Kemp issued a response to Perdue’s accusations, calling the entire campaign a vanity project.
“Perdue’s only reason for running is to soothe his own bruised ego, because his campaign for U.S. Senate failed to inspire voters at the ballot box - twice,” Kemp’s director of Communications Cody Hall said. “Governor Kemp has a proven track record of fighting the radical left to put hardworking Georgians first, while Perdue is best known for ducking debates, padding his stock portfolio during a pandemic, and losing winnable races.”
Hall’s statement also attacked Perdue’s record in the U.S. Senate, which he said led to problems with the economy, immigration, government spending and a move toward progressive policies.
“It may be difficult for David Perdue to see this over the gates of his coastal estate, but Joe Biden’s dangerous agenda is hitting hardworking Georgians in the wallet and endangering their livelihoods - and we all have David Perdue to thank for it.”
Perdue’s campaign strategy appears to interpret and correlate any disloyalty to Mr. Trump as an alignment with Abrams and Democrats.
Meanwhile, while Kemp and Perdue appear to be gearing up for a contentious slug-match, Abrams told News4JAX in an interview Thursday that she’s focussing on her plan for governance, rather than the GOP’s internal contention.
“I’m not interested in the internecine fights of the Republican Party. I’m interested in improving the lives of Georgians. We’re in the midst of a pandemic that is still hurting so many families,” Abrams said. “We’re in the midst of a time when we see opportunity, but not everyone knows how to reach it. And we are watching communities fall apart because they’re not getting the leadership they deserve from our governor.”