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David Perdue’s entry sets up for an ugly GOP primary in Georgia governor’s race

Perdue was endorsed by Trump, who urged him to unseat incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp after for refusing to help the then-president overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results.

Former U.S. Sen. David Perdue announced Monday that he's running in Georgia's GOP primary for governor. The move throws a wrench into Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s plans for re-election and tees up what’s sure to be an ugly primary. 

I’m here for it all, with popcorn in hand. 

The move is surely welcome news to freshly announced Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, who gets to watch the trio of Kemp, Perdue and their fellow GOP candidate Vernon Jordan go to war for the party's nomination ahead of the 2022 election.

Perdue lost his Senate seat to Jon Ossoff in January’s runoff election amid allegations he engaged in insider trading. (Perdue has denied the accusations.) Former President Donald Trump urged him to run for governor after Kemp refused to help Trump overturn his presidential election loss in Georgia last year.

Perdue isn’t just entering the race as a spoiler — Trump has effectively tapped him as a political assassin to take out the career of a sworn enemy. 

Former Sen. David Perdue has entered the Republican primary for Georgia governor. Curtis Compton / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

In a Twitter video announcing his candidacy, Perdue targeted Abrams, but he also parroted pro-Trump talking points to bash Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, another official who refused to go along with Trump's election lies. Perdue said Kemp and Raffensperger are to blame for dividing the Republican Party in Georgia. 

“Look, I like Brian,” Perdue said of Kemp. “This isn’t personal. It’s simple: He has failed all of us.”

Trump has made his disdain for Kemp clear. In September, he used his platform at a rally in Georgia to call on Perdue to primary the governor. He suggested he’d welcome anyone but Kemp winning the race, including Abrams.

“Having her, I think, might be better than having your existing governor, if you want to know what I think,” Trump said, adding later: “Stacey, would you like to take his place? It’s OK with me."

Georgia clearly wasn’t Trump’s state for the taking in 2020, but that doesn’t mean he can’t help give it away to Democrats once more with his petulant involvement in the 2022 elections. 

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