Georgia's David Perdue Makes His 2022 Decision

Former senator says he won't run against Sen. Raphael Warnock
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 23, 2021 11:36 AM CST
Defeated Georgia Senator Opts Out of 2022
In this Dec. 10, 2020 file photo, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., speaks during a "Save the Majority" rally in Augusta, Ga.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Former Georgia Sen. David Perdue said Tuesday that he will not run in 2022 to reclaim a seat in the US Senate, eight days after the defeated Republican filed campaign paperwork that could have opened the way for him to run against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. "I am confident that whoever wins the Republican primary next year will defeat the Democrat candidate in the general election for this seat, and I will do everything I can to make that happen," the 71-year-old said in a statement, per the AP. Perdue lost his reelection bid during a closely watched runoff last month against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Ossoff’s win, along with Warnock's victory over Sen. Kelly Loeffler, resulted in Democrats taking control of the Senate for the first time since 2011. Unlike Ossoff, who will not be up for reelection until 2026, Warnock's term expires in two years because he is filling the remainder of retired Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson's term.

Perdue's decision not to run could ease the path for a number of other Republican candidates. Former US Rep. Doug Collins, who did not advance to the runoff against Warnock after finishing behind Loeffler in November, has said he could run for Senate in 2022, or might try to knock off incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Loeffler has been raising her profile in recent days by announcing Greater Georgia, a group that's supposed to register voters, promote conservative policies, and advocate for restrictive voting changes Republicans say are necessary. Perdue, who fell just short of the 50% threshold he needed to defeat Ossoff outright on Nov. 3, has never directly conceded to Ossoff and on Tuesday repeated the assertion that his Nov. 3 lead was a better indication of Georgia's partisan composition than his runoff loss. He also said reforms were needed to avoid "illegal votes." No evidence of any significant voter fraud has ever been presented.

(More David Perdue stories.)

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