ATLANTA — Georgia’s governor’s race just got a little bit more crowded.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot has confirmed that former Republican Senator David Perdue will run for Georgia governor, pitting himself against current Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.
Perdue is expected to make the announcement on Monday and file his paperwork. His official website launched late Sunday night.
The news comes after Stacey Abrams announced on Dec. 1 that she will run for governor again after falling short in her 2018 matchup against Kemp.
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Vernon Jones has already announced that he will also run against Kemp for governor in the Republican primary.
Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln talked to political experts about what the announcement means for the Republican party.
WSB-TV Political Analyst John Pruitt said that a challenge to the incumbent Republican governor is going to make for a messy political fight in the Republican party.
“This is unprecedented, really,” Pruitt said. ”On the Republican side, they’re going to be damaged. It’s going to be a tough campaign. So Stacey Abrams, of course the presumptive democratic nominee, is sitting on the side lines salivating over the prospect of watching her Republicans opponents to be tear themselves up in the primary.”
Analyst Bill Crane said he believes Perdue is running after former President Donald Trump tapped him to challenge Kemp.
“This is the Republican party, with an incumbent Governor being challenged inside the party, stoked by a former president who won’t give up the fact that he lost the 2020 general election,” Crane said. “Which means the party will still be fighting amongst themselves.”
Kemp issued a statement via a spokesperson Sunday, saying:
“The man who lost Republicans the United States Senate and brought the last year of skyrocketing inflation, open borders, runaway government spending, and woke cancel culture upon the American people now wants to lose the Georgia governor’s office to the national face of the radical left movement. 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 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. 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.”
A spokesperson for Stacey Abrams issued a statement on her behalf, saying:
“While David Perdue and Brian Kemp fight each other, Stacey Abrams will be fighting for the people of Georgia. Both Kemp and Perdue would deprive 500,000 Georgians of health coverage that our taxpayers already paid for. Both would continue to underfund our schools, both would continue to divide Georgia and both would continue reckless decisions that have endangered the lives of Georgians during the pandemic. Only Stacey Abrams will lead to create One Georgia in which all of our people, regardless of zip code, background or access to power, have the opportunity to thrive.”
Perdue’s spokesperson fired back, saying that if Kemp had fought Stacey Abrams as hard as he fights Perdue and Trump, he wouldn’t be in this mess.
“Trump encouraged Perdue to run and no doubt will endorse him so you will have this conflict that’s really unprecedented, and no one can be sure what the outcome is really going to be”,” Pruitt said.
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Vernon Jones also reacted to the news in a statement, saying:
“Are we sure this is not a veil attempt to cover Kemp’s flank? In addition to introducing Gov. Kemp at the 2021 Georgia GOP convention, Perdue recently proclaimed we already have a Republican Governor The Brunswick News. These are two peas in a pod!” I’m the only candidate for Governor who has called for the elimination of state income taxes, a forensic audit of all 159 counties, didn’t abandon President Trump or his America/Georgia first agenda, and can defeat the socialist Stacey Abrams in the general election.”
Perdue served in the U.S. Senate from 2015 to 2021. He was defeated by Sen. Jon Ossoff in the January runoff.
Before entering politics, Perdue served as the CEO of Dollar General and Reebok as well as a senior manager at companies, such as Haggar Clothing and Sara Lee.
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