David Perdue pulls himself out of 2022 Georgia Senate race

Former Sen. David Perdue has opted not to mount a comeback in Georgia, with the Republican saying in an email to supporters that he will not challenge Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in 2022.

Perdue, 71, was ousted by now-Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff in a Jan. 5 runoff election after serving a single six-year term. The Republican led Ossoff after the initial voting on Nov. 3 but fell short of the 50% threshold required to avoid a runoff. Perdue, an ally of former President Donald Trump, had been mulling another run for Senate in next year’s midterm elections but announced Tuesday that he would stick to retirement.

“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. This is a personal decision, not a political one,” Perdue said. “I am confident that whoever wins the Republican Primary next year will defeat the Democrat candidate in the general election for this seat, and I will do everything I can to make that happen.”

“As we saw in my race in November, Georgia is not a blue state,” Perdue continued. “The more Georgians that vote, the better Republicans do. These two current liberal U.S. Senators do not represent the values of a majority of Georgians.”

Except, Georgia is not a red state either. President Biden narrowly defeated Trump there last fall, and the Democrats swept both Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5. With Perdue out, the Republican likely to give the race against Warnock the strongest look is former Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp had appointed Loeffler to the Senate early in 2020. She proceeded to lose to Warnock last month after serving barely a year on Capitol Hill.