The former Republican Georgia senator, who lost his January runoff election to Democratic Sen. T. Jonathan Ossoff, announced today he is challenging his friend and former ally Gov. Brian P. Kemp in the party’s May 24 primary.

“Look, I like Brian,” said David A. Perdue Jr., in a video released by his campaign.

“This isn’t personal. It’s simple,” Perdue said. “He has failed all of us and cannot win in November. Instead of protecting our elections, he caved to Abrams and cost us two Senate seats, the Senate majority, and gave Joe Biden free reign.”

Stacy Abrams announced her candidacy for governor Friday, was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2018. In the years since her loss to Kemp, she has worked to change Georgia’s voting procedures publicly and privately by convincing Secretary of State Bradford J. Raffenberger to sign consent decrees, which restricted the state’s ability to validate signatures on absentee and mail-in ballots.

“Over my dead body, will we ever give Stacey Abrams control of our elections again,” he said.

“I’m running for governor to make sure Stacey Abrams is never governor of Georgia,” he said. “Make no mistake; Abrams will smile, lie, and cheat to transform Georgia into her radical vision of a state that would look more like California or New York.”

Trump endorses Perdue

Shortly after the Perdue announcement, Trump weighed in with his endorsement of the former senator:

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. 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.

Perdue: I’ll follow the DeSantis-Youngkin path

Without mentioning them by name, Perdue, who was once the CEO of the Dollar General chain, said his campaign will echo the themes that proved successful for Virginia’s Republican Governor-elect Glenn A. Youngkin and Florida’s Republican Ronald D. DeSantis.

“My bold vision for our state is very simple,” he said. “Completely eliminate the state income tax; it’s time. Make our cities and state safe again, take charge of our schools, put parents in charge, not the woke left. Fight Biden’s overreaching mandates like Florida’s doing instead of caving to liberals in the city.”

The knock on the cities could not have been a coincidence. In 2020, Trump significantly improved his voter turnout in rural areas.

In case rural Georgians did not catch it the first time, the Senate hopeful said: “. The values and work ethic I learned growing up in rural Georgia have guided me all my life, and they’ll guide me as governor.”

In the video, Perdue said he also took issue with Kemp’s adversarial posture with  Trump after the 2020 presidential election, which he blamed for the loss of his Senate seat, along with the seat held by Republican Kelly Loeffler. Despite being the top vote-getters, both Republicans lost their Jan. 5 runoff elections because they failed to exceed the 50 percent threshold the state requires.

“Think about how different it would be today if Kemp had fought Abrams first, instead of fighting Trump. Kemp caved before the election and the country is paying the price today,” said the man, who earned from the Georgia Institute of Technology a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a master’s degree in operational research.

The former senator said he is also concerned because Kemp’s leadership has created discord in the state.

“To fight back, we simply have to be united.,” he said.

“It’s time for a change. If our governor was ever going to fight for us, wouldn’t he have done it already?”

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Neil W. McCabe is the national political editor of The Star News Network. Follow him on Twitter: @neilwmccabe2. Send him news tips at: [email protected]
Photo “David Perdue” by David Perdue.