From left to right, then-Sen. David Perdue, then-Georgia gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp, and then-President Donald Trump arrive at a campaign rally in Macon, Ga., on November 4, 2018.
AP Photo/John Bazemore
- David Perdue said he wants to “help” Brian Kemp defeat Stacey Abrams in the Georgia governor’s race.
- “Governor Kemp and I have differences. There’s no doubt about that,” he said on a recent podcast.
- Perdue, with the backing of Trump, unsuccessfully challenged Kemp in the GOP gubernatorial primary.
Former Georgia Sen. David Perdue in a recent interview said that despite the “differences” he had with GOP Gov. Brian Kemp in this year’s Republican gubernatorial primary, he will do everything he can to “help” him defeat Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams in the governor’s race this November.
During a podcast appearance on “The Ben Burnett Show” with host Ben Burnett, the conservative ex-lawmaker said Kemp — whom he had known and worked with for years before launching a primary bid late last year – was the superior choice for voters in the contest against Abrams, who narrowly lost to Perdue in 2018.
Former President Donald Trump, who was incensed that Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had refused to help overturn now-President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory in the state, encouraged Perdue to enter the race. The former senator focused on election integrity in the contest, while Kemp honed in on his record as governor.
But the GOP electorate overwhelmingly chose Kemp over Perdue in the party primary, despite Trump’s continued popularity among those voters.
Perdue in the interview defended his decision to run against Kemp, but said it was time to look toward the November election.
“I was giving the Republicans a choice. That’s all it was,” he said. “And right now, my only focus is making sure Stacey Abrams is not the next governor of Georgia.”
“I encourage everybody that’s listening to put any animosities aside, any differences aside, any concerns about the voting system aside – whatever – and look at the bigger picture long-term,” Perdue went on to say. “If we lose the state of Georgia to a Democrat governor, no matter what you think about the election process, we will not get it back in the short term. That means we could have a totally different situation nationally.”
Perdue said some Republicans are still disappointed with Kemp over the 2020 election, but emphasized that he wants to “help” the governor reach those voters so Abrams doesn’t pull out a win.
“I want to be a help and not a hindrance,” he said, pointing out that there were “a lot of people who are really upset with the governor.”
“I’m in a position to help salve that over,” he added.
Perdue reiterated that he may have clashed with Kemp in the past, but wants the GOP to be successful in the statewide contests this year.
“Governor Kemp and I have differences. There’s no doubt about that,” he said. “But on the other hand, I understand who is going to be the better governor of Georgia, and it’s not Stacey Abrams.”