David Perdue decides not to run for Georgia Senate a week after submitting election documentation

“After much prayer and reflection, Bonnie and I have decided that we will not participate in the race for the United States Senate in Georgia in 2022,” Perdue said in an email to supporters Tuesday, adding that it is “a personal decision, not political one. ” He gave no further explanation of his decision.

Perdue promised to do “everything” he can to make sure the Republican candidate for the race defeats newly elected incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock, who said later Tuesday that he is “prepared to defeat any Republican that comes to mind.”

“These two current liberal United States senators do not represent the values ​​of the majority of Georgians,” Perdue said in his statement, referring to Warnock and Senator Jon Ossoff, who defeated him and former Senator Kelly Loeffler in the second round. of the January elections.

Loeffler and former Representative Doug Collins, who lost to Loeffler and Warnock last year, are considering running for Senate again.

Last week, Perdue met with former President Donald Trump over a round of golf and dinner, according to The New York Times. Trump reportedly intended to exact revenge on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp, who respectively blamed Trump for fomenting the violent January 6 riot on Capitol Hill and questioned his false claims that the 2020 elections were rigged.
David Perdue files paperwork for the 2022 Georgia US Senate race
A person familiar with the Trump-Perdue talks said they did not affect the former senator’s 2022 decision. But Trump’s war against Republican leaders could hurt the party in the 2022 midterm elections, just as it did in Perdue’s Senate race. Last month, Trump publicly pledged to campaign against Kemp in 2022, which could drag Georgia Republicans onto the ballot.

Florida Sen. Rick Scott, chairman of the Senate Republican National Committee, told CNN that he spoke with Perdue on Tuesday morning and is “quite disappointed” with his decision.

“He told me it was personal,” Scott said.

A former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General, Perdue won his first Senate race in 2014 and became one of President Donald Trump’s strongest allies in Congress. He continued to deliver aid during the coronavirus pandemic, including billions for hospitals and the creation of the Congressional Small Business Loan Paycheck Protection Program, while warning voters that Ossoff was pushing a “socialist agenda.” .

But Trump’s series of attacks on Kemp and the election officials who oversaw his loss in Georgia removed a potential message for Perdue and Loeffler that they would keep the Senate under Republican control and serve as a brake against the administration of President Joe Biden. Instead, senators joined Trump in opposing certification of the 2020 election, discouraging some would-be undecided voters.

Perdue also faced intense scrutiny over its multi-million dollar stock transactions made during the pandemic. Perdue said his advisers made the transactions and pledged not to deal further in individual companies. Her campaign also faced backlash after she intentionally mispronounced Vice President Kamala Harris’ name at a rally and for a digital ad showing Ossoff’s enlarged nose, an anti-Semitic trope, that her campaign said was an accident and was quickly removed from Facebook.

This story has been updated with additional developments on Tuesday.

CNN’s Devan Cole, Manu Raju, and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.


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