Former Sen. David Perdue enters GOP primary race to become the next Georgia governor

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  • David Perdue
    American politician
  • Brian Kemp
    Secretary of State of Georgia
  • Donald Trump
    Donald Trump
    45th President of the United States
  • Stacey Abrams
    Stacey Abrams
    American politician, voting rights activist, and writer

Ex-Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., launched a Republican primary campaign against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, setting the stage for a bitter fight within the GOP instigated by former President Donald Trump.

Perdue, who lost his 2020 senate reelection bid, claims he can unify the pro-Trump and more moderate GOP factions to hold off what is sure to be a potent Democratic challenge from voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.

“(Kemp) failed all of us and cannot win in November,” Perdue said in a campaign video that repeatedly excoriated Abrams. “Kemp caved before the election, and we are paying the price.”

Kemp, a onetime friend and ally of Perdue, vowed to fight what he says is an effort to punish him for refusing to join Trump’s “big lie” campaign to overturn President Joe Biden’s win.

Trump quickly backed the bid by Perdue, calling him “highly respected."

“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),” Trump said in an email message.

The impending heavyweight GOP fight in the Peach State, which analysts joke could make Sherman’s March seem like child’s play, could hurt Republican efforts to keep control of the nation’s newest battleground state.

Trump has repeatedly targeted Kemp, saying Kemp didn’t do enough to overturn Biden’s electoral victory in Georgia.

“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,” Trump said. “But some good Republican will run, and some good Republican will get my endorsement, and some good Republican will WIN!”

Perdue joins a slate of Trump-backed candidates in Georgia Republican primaries, including Herschel Walker running against Sen. Raphael Warnock, state Sen. Burt Jones running for lieutenant governor and Rep. Jody Hice running for secretary of state.

Abrams launched her own 2022 gubernatorial campaign on Dec. 1, which was expected to be a marquee match replay of her surprisingly close loss to Kemp in 2018.

Democrats are expected to quickly line up behind Abrams and Warnock, who is running for a full six-year term after winning a Senate special election in 2020.

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