ATLANTA — Former President Donald Trump is handing out his most ringing endorsement yet in the race for Georgia’s governor.
The former president has thrown his support for the gubernatorial race behind former U.S. Senator David Perdue.
The announcement comes as current Governor Brian Kemp announced a $408 million investment to expand broadband access to rural Georgia.
Kemp is pointing to economic progress during what is turning out to be a bruising re-election campaign.
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]
“Our party is divided right now,” Perdue told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot on Tuesday. “This campaign is for Georgia.”
Perdue is kicking off a new statewide campaign just two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. He is also releasing a new TV ad that features an endorsement from former President Trump.
“David Perdue is an outstanding man. He’s tough. He’s smart. He has my complete and total endorsement,” the former president said.
Perdue told Elliot that he does not believe the tough campaign with fellow Republicans Kemp and Vernon Jones will divide the party, though some Republican leaders are worried it has.
- Police called to ‘loud as hell’ party thrown by Atlanta judge at notorious rental home, records show
- Red Cross providing shelter for several people following massive apartment fire
- Police stepping up patrols after pair of serious suspected DUI crashes on the same day
“And what we are doing now is giving a referendum choice to Republicans to see who they want to stand up to, presumably, Stacey Abrams in November,” Perdue said.
Jones, who is running against Kemp and Perdue in the Republican primaries, released a statement Tuesday evening saying, “I’m the only one that can defeat Stacey Abrams and everyone knows it.”
Elliot reached out to Abrams’ campaign, but they did not have a comment.
Georgia Democrats, however, did release a statement that reads,
“Every day that Kemp and Perdue continue their petty fights, it becomes clearer that they’re more concerned with tearing each other down than offering solutions to improve Georgians’ lives.”
[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]
Gov. Kemp also downplayed the endorsement when Elliot spoke with him Tuesday afternoon.
“Look, I’m not worried about what Perdue is talking about. I’m worried about what I’m doing. You know, I’m the governor. He’s running against me. He’s got to tell people what he’s for, so far he hasn’t done that,” Kemp said.
Former President Trump has been clear in his belief that Gov. Kemp’s refusal to overturn election results cost Republicans two U.S. Senate seats and the presidency.
In December, the former president released a statement on the election that read,
Wow, it looks like highly respected Senator David Perdue will be running against RINO Brian Kemp for Governor of Georgia. David was a great Senator, and he truly loves his State and his Country,” Trump said in a statement . “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.— Former President Donald Trump
IN OTHER NEWS:
©2022 Cox Media Group