Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who drew former President Trump's wrath for refusing to act on his false allegations of a stolen election, is likely to face a prominent challenger for the 2022 Republican primary for governor: former Sen. David Perdue. Late Sunday, a website and text updates launched for a Perdue governor's campaign, proclaiming him “a bold conservative to unite Georgia,” and inviting people to “join our team to stop Stacey Abrams," the likely Democratic nominee, the AP reports. Perdue’s plans to challenge Kemp were reported by multiple news organizations Sunday, starting with Politico. News reports indicated Perdue could announce his primary challenge as early as Monday.
He's been encouraged publicly by the former president and has been flirting with running for governor for months. Supporters of the 71-year-old former senator, who lost his seat to Democrat Jon Ossoff in a runoff in January, say they believe Perdue can beat Abrams while Kemp can't. “Perdue can bring together the Trump base and those Republicans, independents, and moderate Democrats who will find Abrams too radical,” former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote on Nov. 12. “Perdue is the one candidate who can defeat Abrams.” Trump has repeatedly assailed Kemp, saying the governor didn't do enough to overturn President Biden's electoral victory in Georgia.
But Kemp is promising an all-out brawl as he tries to win a second term, with Kemp spokesperson Cody Hall saying Perdue is running only to “soothe his own bruised ego” over his loss to Ossoff. Hall branded Perdue “the man who lost Republicans the United States Senate." As recently as June, Perdue was supporting Kemp, introducing him at the state Republican Party convention. Kemp said last week that he hoped Perdue “was a man of his word” when it came to that support. Some Republicans fear a bitter Perdue-Kemp primary will set the stage for a victory by Abrams, who has no declared opponents on the Democratic side.
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