David Perdue Announces Run for Georgia Governor: ‘Over My Dead Body’ Will Stacey Abrams Control Our Elections

Former Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) officially launched his bid for Georgia governor on Monday, taking aim at the lead Democrat candidate, Stacey Abrams, in a video announcing his candidacy.

Perdue, a wealthy businessman who served in the U.S. Senate in Georgia from 2015 to 2021, opened his campaign message by saying he decided to run because he wanted to ensure Abrams, a widely known leftist activist and prolific Democrat fundraiser, would “never” be the governor of Georgia.

“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,” Perdue stated in his announcement.

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Perdue’s candidacy sets the stage for a competitive primary battle against incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R), with former state Rep. Vernon Jones, a Democrat-turned-Republican, also in the mix of contenders.

In addition to Abrams, Perdue took aim at Kemp in his announcement, lumping Kemp in with his unpopular secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, saying, “Unfortunately, today we are divided, and Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger are to blame.”

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

Kemp has faced enormous backlash from former President Donald Trump and his supporters for his handling of the 2020 presidential election and subsequent runoffs in Georgia, where Democrats stunningly swept the state by razor-thin margins. Trump, after coming in just about 12,000 votes shy of President Joe Biden out of more than five million votes cast, claimed the election was “rigged” and that Kemp should have done more to address Republican concerns of fraud.

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 10: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks at a press conference announcing statewide expanded COVID testing on August 10, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Recently a high school in Georgia had to switch back to virtual learning after 9 people tested positive for the coronavirus when the school opened for regular in-person classes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at a press conference on August 10, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

“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,” Perdue said. In his pursuit for reelection to the Senate, Perdue, along with former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), narrowly lost their runoff races in January.

Kemp, for his part, has maintained that he did everything he could to address Trump’s gripes, saying he, too, shares in the former president’s frustrations. Kemp, during the aftermath of the election, said however that he had to operate within the confines of Georgia law, which both prevented him from interfering with the election and also sequestered some election-related powers like audits to the secretary of state’s office.

Abrams, who lost to Kemp in the 2018 governor’s race, is a vocal voting rights activist who has called for loosening ballot restrictions to make voting easier. Abrams has been largely credited with Democrats ultimately eking out their wins in the last election cycle.

“And let me be very clear – over my dead body will we EVER give Stacy Abrams control of our elections again,” Perdue noted in his statement on Monday.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 24: Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams waits to speak at a Democratic canvass kickoff as she campaigns for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at Bruce Trent Park on October 24, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. In-person early voting for the general election in the battleground state began on October 17 and continues through October 30. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams waits to speak at a Democrat canvass kickoff as she campaigns for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on October 24, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Kemp spokesman Cody Hall responded to Perdue’s gubernatorial bid on Sunday when reports surfaced that the former senator would be challenging Kemp. Hall stated:

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.

Trump, who has repeatedly blasted Kemp over the election, is expected to throw his support behind Perdue. The former president issued a statement to that effect on Monday, saying, “Wow, it looks like highly respected Senator David Perdue will be running against RINO Brian Kemp for Governor of Georgia.”

Trump added, “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).”

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.

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Abrams: I Did Not Challenge 2018 Election by Refusing to Concede — I Challenged an Unfair System

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said Thursday on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” that, unlike former President Donald Trump, she did not challenge the results of the 2018 election, which she lost to Republican Brian Kemp and refused to concede amid allegations of voter suppression.

Maddow said, “When you ran in 2018, part of the reason we covered the race so intently is because the candidates are both very interesting people, present company included. But also because there was a disturbing dynamic in that race which was that your Republican opponent who went on to win the race was secretary of state at the time and was engaged in really aggressive what appeared to be voter suppression tactics, including throwing huge numbers of Georgians off the voting rolls in a way that seemed to benefit his own candidacy in which he was on the ballot. When you so narrowly lost, you famously were contentious about the loss, saying he didn’t necessarily think it had been a fair fight. Stepping back now a few years out of that, and seeing what’s happened both in Georgia and around the country around the issues of fairness in elections, how do you feel about that now looking back at it and how do you want people to understand how that dynamic affected the race the first time?”

Abrams said, “In 2018, I had spent more than a year traveling the state, but I had already spent ten years, 11 years in the state legislature. I had been working on voting rights since I was 17. I had watched. In fact, I had battled with the then secretary of state over his egregious and aggressive voter suppression activities. On the night on November 16, when I acknowledged I would not become governor, that he had won the election, I did not challenge the outcome of the election unlike some recent folks did.”

She continued, “What I said was that the system was not fair. Leaders challenge systems. Leaders say we can do better. That is what I declared. I could not in good conscience say in order to protect my political future I’ll be silent about the political present, which is that we have a system under a leader that sought to keep people from casting their ballot that threw the ballots out that said that voter suppression was a viable tactic for winning elections. I am so proud of the work that I have been able to do in the last three years. But even more, I’m proud of the work Georgians have done to demonstrate their capacity to have their voices heard to participate in elections to change their stars, to change their futures. I could not be prouder that I was part of that by saying on November 16, 2018 that my time would be committed to protecting our system, defending our democracy, and ensuring access to the right to vote.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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