When former Republican Georgia Senator David Perdue announced this week that he’s mounting a primary challenge to current Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp, his announcement was notable for what it said and didn’t say. Perdue stated that he’s “running for governor to make sure Stacey Abrams is never Governor of Georgia.” The victor in the Republican primary will face Democrat Abrams in the gubernatorial election in 2022.
In Perdue’s announcement, he didn’t mention a desire to help Georgia. Instead, his words essentially told us that his only goal is to prevent a Black woman from becoming governor. Kemp’s campaign accuses Perdue of running to soothe a bruised ego after he lost his Senate seat to Democrat Jon Ossoff earlier this year, an election he lost even with support from then-President Trump. Perdue, who faces allegations of insider trading while in the Senate, also said this: “Over my dead body will we ever give Stacey Abrams control of our elections again,” which is deceitful since Abrams has never controlled elections, although she is a tireless advocate for voting rights. Georgia Republicans, however, have taken extreme measures to suppress the non-Republican vote.
Trump has awkwardly endorsed Perdue, and it’s understood that Trump urged Perdue to challenge Kemp since Trump wants vengeance on Kemp for lacking sufficient fealty to Trumpism – Trump doesn’t care about Perdue so much as he wants to stymie Kemp. Neither Kemp nor Perdue inspire Georgians the way Abrams does, and Perdue is taking a risk by again tying himself to Trump, who also lost in Georgia. In true Republican fashion, Perdue isn’t running because he has substantive ideas; he’s running to obstruct progress that Abrams could bring Georgia, all while he plays on the right’s disdain for progressive women of color. Let’s support Abrams while Perdue and Kemp are distracted fighting each other.