GOP Lawmakers Urged Trump-Backed David Perdue Not to Run for Governor
- Former Sen. David Purdue announced this month he’s running for governor of Georgia.
- However, last month, a group of GOP lawmakers wrote a letter urging him not to challenge Gov. Brian Kemp.
- Donald Trump has endorsed Perdue over Kemp, whom he had criticized for the outcome of the 2020 election.
A group of Georgia’s Republican state senators urged former Sen. David Perdue not to run for governor in a private letter sent last month, Axios reported Wednesday.
Perdue, who served in US Congress from 2015 to 2021, announced earlier this month he is running for governor of Georgia in the 2022 Republican primary against incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp.
Perdue earned a swift endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who has skewered Kemp for not doing more to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in his state, which President Joe Biden won.
In the letter obtained by Axios, 25 of Georgia’s 34 Republican state senators asked Perdue not to challenge the incumbent.
“We are asking you to join us in fully supporting and endorsing Governor Brian Kemp for reelection,” the letter said. “Our GOP and state must be unified behind our Governor with a positive message to keep Georgia conservative and moving forward.”
The letter also began by thanking Perdue for his service, saying, “you made us proud serving as our United States Senator” and “we hope you will consider running for the US Senate again in the future.”
Axios reported the senators did not send a digital copy because they did not want it to become public.
Insider could not immediately reach Perdue for comment, but he confirmed he received the letter to Axios and said, “this is what career politicians do.”
“They think that endorsements among each other can elbow an outsider out of a race,” he told the outlet. “People who vote don’t care about that. You know who cares about that? Career politicians.”
He also said it was “ludicrous” that the state senators thought the letter would sway him.
Two of the Georgia state senators who signed the letter, John Albers and Mike Dugan, denied to Axios that the group represented “career politicians.”
Perdue, a one-term senator, lost reelection in January 2021 to Democrat Jon Ossoff in a high-stakes runoff race. He received Trump’s endorsement for governor as the former president targets incumbent lawmakers that defied him.
Republican lawmakers elsewhere continue to stick by colleagues that Trump has denounced. The Senate’s GOP campaign arm said last month it’s backing Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, despite Trump endorsing her primary challenger, Kelly Tshibaka.
Several Trump-backed challengers are also struggling to match the incumbents in fundraising, Insider’s Alia Shoaib reported.