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Perdue officially launches bid to become Ga. governor

FILE - Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., speaks during a rally in Augusta, Ga., on Dec. 10, 2020....
FILE - Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., speaks during a rally in Augusta, Ga., on Dec. 10, 2020. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who drew Donald Trump's wrath for refusing to act on his false allegations of a stolen election, is likely to face the former senator for the 2022 Republican primary for governor. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)(John Bazemore | AP)
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 9:59 AM EST
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ATLANTA - Former U.S. Sen. David Perdue will challenge Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in next year’s Republican primary for governor.

Perdue’s entry announced Monday sets up a bitter Republican clash while Democrat Stacey Abrams awaits the winner.

Former President Donald Trump has publicly encouraged Perdue to run. Trump blames Kemp for not doing enough to overturn his loss in Georgia to President Joe Biden.

Perdue supporters say he can unite Republicans while Kemp can’t.

Perdue’s entry likely means Kemp will move more to the right in a primary brawl before going against Abrams in the 2022 general election.

Perdue lost his Senate seat to Democrat Jon Ossoff in last year’s election.

In response to Perdue’s announcement, Scott Hogan, executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia, said: ”No matter who emerges from Republicans’ messy, race-to-the-right gubernatorial primary, voters know that Democrats are the only ones who will deliver on the issues Georgians care about, like recovering from COVID-19 and expanding access to health care. Georgia Democrats are more fired up than ever before and looking forward to electing a strong Democratic governor for our state in 2022.”

From reports by The Associated Press and WRDW/WAGT