If Brian Kemp wants a chance to defeat Stacey Abrams again, he’ll first need to get past former Sen. David Perdue.
The former businessman, whose loss to Jon Ossoff in January effectively handed Democrats control of the U.S. Senate, announced a primary challenge against the Georgia governor on Monday via video. Perdue served as a senator from 2015-21.
Perdue reportedly was recruited to run after former President Donald Trump repeatedly assailed Kemp for not trying to overturn results of the 2020 presidential election in the Peach State.
The high-stakes gubernatorial primary could be divisive in a key swing state where Trump became the first Republican to lose Georgia since 1992.
For now, the Kemp team does not appear overly unconcerned by the igniting of a potential intra-party battle.
“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,” Kemp’s communications director said Sunday. “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.”
Polling also appears to be in the incumbent’s favor. A survey last month found Kemp leading Perdue 38-32% among Republican primary voters, with erstwhile Democrat Vernon Jones receiving 16% of the vote.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich called Perdue “the one figure who could unify Georgia and the one person who could beat Stacey Abrams,” an interesting observation, considering Kemp defeated Abrams by over 50,000 votes only three years ago.
Whoever wins the primary will face Abrams, the left-wing conspiracy theorist who announced last week that she would challenge Kemp as she did in 2018.