Senator David Perdue (R-GA) speaks during a campaign event as he runs for reelection at the Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub, in Milton, Georgia, December 21, 2020.
Al Drago | Reuters
Former Georgia Sen. David Perdue said Tuesday that he is weighing a 2022 bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, making the announcement in a post on Twitter that suggested the Republican businessman would seek to turn the race into a referendum on President Joe Biden.
“Today, we can already see the impending damage that America will suffer from the Biden administration,” Perdue wrote, in a statement attributed to himself and his wife, Bonnie Perdue.
“Over the next few weeks, Bonnie and I will diligently consider our options about how to best serve the people of Georgia,” the ex-lawmaker added.
Perdue filed paperwork for a 2022 bid on Monday. He said in his statement that doing so was “simply a necessary legal step” that will allow him to keep the option available.
Perdue and fellow Republican ex-Sen. Kelly Loeffler, also of Georgia, were defeated last month in runoff races that handed Democrats effective control of the upper body of Congress. Perdue lost to Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., while Loeffler was defeated by Warnock.
Warnock, a pastor and the first Black senator from Georgia, is serving out the remainder of the term of ex-Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican who resigned in 2019 because of health concerns. As a result, Warnock will be up for re-election again in 2022, rather than after the typical six-year term for senators.
Perdue’s 2020 bid for Senate was shadowed by allegations of misconduct related to his prolific stock trading.
A New York Times investigation found that Perdue’s 2,596 trades in his first term accounted for nearly a third of trading by senators reported over the past six years, raising ethics concerns. Perdue denied any wrongdoing. It is not illegal for senators to trade securities.
Perdue in his statement on Tuesday, repeating a critique he frequently made from the campaign trail, said that Warnock and Ossoff are “two of the most radically liberal individuals to ever occupy a seat on the hallowed floor of the United States Senate.”
“They do not fairly represent most Georgians,” Perdue added, citing his edge over Ossoff in the November election in which neither man received more than 50% of the vote.
Perdue received 49.7% of the vote compared to Ossoff’s 47.9%, sending the contest to the runoff that Ossoff ultimately won. Ossoff defeated Perdue by a margin of 50.6% to 49.4%.
Perdue called the November general election “the best poll of where Georgia is right now” and said that “Georgia is not a blue state.”
“More than 52% of Georgians rejected my opponent and the liberal Democrat agenda,” Perdue wrote.
The ex-senator said it was imperative that Republicans regain a majority in the Senate “to have balanced government.”
“Just as my runoff election determined the majority in the US Senate, this 2022 Senate race in Georgia will also determine the majority and will be the focal race in America once again,” he said.
A spokesperson for Warnock did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Subscribe to CNBC Pro for the TV livestream, deep insights and analysis on how to invest during the next presidential term.