According to a report from the Daily Beast, former Georgia Sen. David Perdue's decision to challenge Gov. Brian Kemp in the 2022 midterm primary at Donald Trump's behest has Republicans in the state despairing that a "scorched earth" primary will hand the seat over to the Democrats.
Still bruised from losing both U.S. Senate seats in 2020 after run-offs that were conducted under the cloud of Trump complaining about election fraud and dampening turnout, Republicans fear his interference will cost them again.
As the Beast's Sam Brodey and Roger Sollenberger wrote, Perdue's jump into the race "immediately set up a scorched-earth contest that will scramble internal alliances and cause headaches—perhaps literally—as Republicans drain energy, resources, and morale ahead of an expected rematch with Stacey Abrams, a national Democratic star."
According to one GOP activist, "I don’t know what to do. I’m going to have a whole lot of aspirin beside me, because I really do like both of them.”
The report notes that Kemp's chances looked strong before Perdue announced, but now voters are split between the two and Trump can be blamed for the latest election chaos by encouraging the former senator to run because the former president has still not forgiven Kemp for not helping him subvert the 2020 election results in Georgia.
As the Beast is reporting, it appears that Perdue's only reason for jumping into the race is because the former president wants him to.
"Trump has never forgiven Kemp for refusing to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in Georgia. He goaded Perdue to run against him; in his launch video, the ex-senator torched Kemp for not standing up for 'election integrity,' even blaming Kemp for his own runoff loss in January," the report states. "There is little pretense, from any corner of the party, that the primary ahead is about anything other than Trump. That’s what makes this latest round of Peach State infighting so similar to the previous ones. And what worries Republicans is that the result this time will be the same: Democratic victory."
According to former Cobb County GOP chairman Jason Shepherd, the future -- with Stacey Abrams expected to be the Democrat on the ballot -- looks "like a 'bruising primary' certain to make all parts of the party 'just furious with each other' while Abrams glides above the fray," with Shepherd adding, "I guess we’ll give Donald Trump what he wants, Stacey Abrams instead of Brian Kemp.”
Buzz Brockway, a former GOP state lawmaker added, "I’m disappointed. I watched [Perdue’s] announcement video and it was plain to me that it’s about one thing, and that’s Donald Trump. This is about exacting revenge.”
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