Former Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) narrowly lost his bid for reelection to Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff in the 2020 senatorial run-off races, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to call it quits on his political career.
Perdue has filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to lay the groundwork for a potential 2022 challenge against Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), the other Democratic challenger to emerge victorious in the January run-off races, the Washington Examiner reported.
Because Warnock defeated Gov. Brian Kemp appointee Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) in a special election, the senator will only serve until 2022 when he will have to run again for reelection to a full six-year term.
According to FEC records, Perdue has filed a “statement of candidacy” for a Senate seat representing Georgia, a document that also serves as a “designation of principal campaign committee” for the former senator, which is known as “Perdue For Senate.”
The document also made note of several other “authorized committees” that would work toward the same goal of electing Perdue to the Senate again but would not be a part of his principal campaign committee.
The form, filed on Feb. 15, also noted Perdue’s intent to “expend personal funds” as part of a prospective senatorial campaign.
Perdue “leaning heavily toward” running
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that this FEC filing marked the first step in what increasingly appears to be a political comeback by Perdue.
Aides to the former senator told the newspaper that Perdue hasn’t made a final decision yet whether to challenge Warnock, but at least one senior adviser said the paperwork was a necessary legal formality to get that ball rolling and that Perdue was “leaning heavily toward” mounting a campaign to rejoin the Senate.
Another person described as “close” to Perdue said the former senator was “keeping the powder dry and all options open,” while the senior adviser suggested that a decision would likely be made by March and announced to the public no later than April.
Perdue the leading contender
Should Perdue decide to run against Warnock, he would most likely enter the race as the odds-on favorite among Republicans for the nomination to run in the 2022 general election. Other top contenders like Loeffler, who would be seeking a rematch against Warnock, and former Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), are said to be waiting on an announcement from Perdue before making any decisions.
The Atlanta newspaper also noted that there were a handful of other Republicans who were expected to throw their hats in the ring for the opportunity to face-off against Warnock but, again, all of that may be contingent upon whether Perdue enters the field.
Regardless of Purdue’s ultimate decision, it appears Georgia will once again be a focal point with national implications in the next election cycle.