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.


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 five million votes cast, claimed the election was “rigged” and that Kemp should have done more to address Republican concerns of fraud.

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.

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 Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.