Former Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) is expected to announce his run for Georgia governor this week, making him just the latest Republican to challenge Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) in the GOP gubernatorial primary.
Perdue plans on making a video announcement of his decision Monday and will file paperwork, making the gubernatorial bid official, on the same day, sources familiar with his plans told POLITICO. The former senator was pushed to mount a run against Kemp by former President Donald Trump, who has previously pledged to campaign against the current governor for ignoring his claims of a stolen 2020 election and instead certifying Georgia's 16 electoral votes for now-President Joe Biden.
This comes just days after Democrat Stacey Abrams announced her bid for Georgia governor. Abrams lost to Kemp in the 2018 gubernatorial election by less than one and a half percentage points but never formally conceded the race.
Former Georgia state representative and former Democrat Vernon Jones, activist Jonathan Garcia and 2020 U.S. Senate candidate Kandiss Taylor have already announced bids to take on Kemp in the Republican primary.
Perdue said earlier this year he would not seek a run for U.S. Senate in 2022 after losing his seat to Democrat Jon Ossoff in the Georgia runoffs on Jan. 5, which secured a 50-50 majority split in the Senate. He called the decision not to run a "personal decision, not a political one."
Kemp told reporters last week that Perdue had told him that he did not have plans to challenge him for the governorship.
"All I know is what Sen. Perdue has told me, I hope he’ll be a man of his word, but again that’s not anything I can control," Kemp said at the time.
A Kemp adviser told POLITICO that Perdue running for governor because of pressure from the former president will not win him the election, and touted Georgia's economy, which has been thriving under the current governor, as one of Kemp's most notable accomplishments.
"The economy is roaring in Georgia. Jobs are great. Taxes are low," the adviser, who the news outlet noted was not authorized to speak on the record, said. "So what’s Perdue’s reason to run? That he’s Trump’s lap dog? That dog don’t hunt. Lap dogs don’t hunt."