Former Sen. David Perdue filed paperwork Monday to run against Sen. Raphael Warnock in 2022, after Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff narrowly defeated him in Georgia’s January runoff elections.
Perdue’s paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission notes his candidacy in the Senate race, and designated his political committee Perdue for Senate to be used for the 2022 election cycle.
Anonymous sources close to Perdue told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the ex-senator had not made a final decision on whether or not to run, but is “leaning heavily towards it” and will likely make up his mind in the coming weeks.
Perdue’s former Senate seat won’t come up for reelection until 2026, but Warnock will run again in 2022 because he was elected to only finish out the term of former Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned in 2019 due to health concerns.
The Journal-Constitution reports Kelly Loeffler has considered running again against Warnock after he defeated her in January, as well as former Rep. Doug Collins, who also ran for Warnock’s Senate seat but did not make the runoffs.
Perdue’s campaign sent a text message to supporters Monday night asking for donations and saying he was “considering” a 2022 Senate run.
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The Journal-Constitution reports Perdue is likely to decide whether he’s running by March 1, and would announce his candidacy in April if so.
54,944. That’s how many votes Perdue lost to Ossoff by in the January runoff elections. Warnock won against Loeffler by a slightly higher margin of 93,272 votes.
Warnock and Ossoff’s surprise defeat of Georgia’s GOP incumbents gave Democrats control of the Senate, with 50 votes plus Vice President Kamala Harris as tiebreaker. Perdue, a former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General who won office in 2014, was dogged in his reelection campaign by widespread scrutiny over his stock trading, with a New York Times analysis in December finding he had made the most trades of any of his Senate colleagues with 2,596 trades over his Senate term. Many involved companies that Perdue oversaw in Senate committees, and fueled accusations of potential insider trading. The U.S. Department of Justice and FBI reportedly looked into the issue but the Times reports the DOJ ultimately declined to bring charges. A spokesperson for Perdue told the Times the allegations of insider trading against the senator were “baseless” and a “discredited line of attack.”
In addition to a potential high-profile matchup between Warnock and Perdue, Georgia’s 2022 elections will also include a closely-watched gubernatorial race, with Stacey Abrams saying she wants to challenge Gov. Brian Kemp for a second time.
Perdue explores Senate comeback bid against Warnock in 2022 (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
‘A mess.’ Georgia politicians prepare for brutal 2022 battles (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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