“After much prayer and reflection, Bonnie and I have decided that we will not enter the race for the United States Senate in Georgia in 2022,” Perdue said in an email to supporters Tuesday, adding that it’s “a personal decision, not a political one.” He did not further explain his decision.
Perdue vowed to do “everything” he could to ensure that the Republican nominee for the race beats newly elected incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, who said later Tuesday that he’s “prepared to defeat whatever Republican they come up with.”
Loeffler and former Rep. Doug Collins, who lost to Loeffler and Warnock last year, are considering running again for Senate.
Florida Sen. Rick Scott, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told CNN he talked with Perdue Tuesday morning and is “pretty disappointed” in his decision.
“He told me it was personal,” Scott said.
A former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General, Perdue won his first Senate race in 2014 and became one of President Donald Trump’s strongest allies in Congress. He ran on delivering aid during the coronavirus pandemic, including billions for hospitals and Congress’ creation of the small business loan Paycheck Protection Program, while warning voters that Ossoff was pushing a “socialist agenda.”
But Trump’s stream of attacks on Kemp and the election officials who oversaw his loss in Georgia took away a potential message for Perdue and Loeffler that they would keep the Senate in Republican control, and serve as a check against President Joe Biden’s administration. Instead the senators joined Trump in opposing the certification of the 2020 election, putting off some potential swing voters.
This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.
CNN’s Devan Cole, Manu Raju and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.
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