Former Sen. David Perdue, a Republican vying to defeat Georgia’s incumbent GOP Gov. Brian Kemp in a May 24 primary, told a crowd gathered for a rally with President Trump that he wants to revive a probe into 2020 election fraud.
Mr. Perdue, who lost his Senate seat in a 2021 runoff election to Democrat Jon Ossoff, is now lagging in the polls behind incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who he faces in the GOP primary.
Mr. Perdue won President Trump’s endorsement after Mr. Kemp refused to take steps to overturn President Joe Biden’s narrow victory in the state.
“I’ve been fighting alongside of him all the way and I’m fighting right now to find out what happened in 2020 and make sure that those people responsible for that fraud in 2020 go to jail,” Mr. Perdue said.
Mr. Perdue, in his pursuit of the GOP spot on the ballot, is echoing Mr. Trump’s claims the election was rigged to help Mr. Biden win, and he’s blaming Mr. Kemp, who refused to overturn the results. Mr. Biden won the state by fewer than 12,000 votes.
Mr. Trump said voter fraud gave Mr. Biden the narrow advantage, and Mr. Kemp echoed those claims on Saturday.
“In the state of Georgia, thanks to Brian Kemp, our elections in 2020 were absolutely stolen,” Mr. Perdue said ahead of Mr. Trump’s appearance on the rally stage in Commerce, Georgia.
Mr. Perdue is perhaps Mr. Trump’s highest-profile endorsement but so far, the effort is fizzling.
Mr. Kemp has maintained a significant and consistent lead over Mr. Perdue in the polls.
A Fox News poll released March 8 showed Mr. Kemp with an 11 point lead over Mr. Perdue.
Mr. Perdue told the crowd in Commerce that Mr. Kemp “sold us out,” by refusing to pursue a 2020 election fraud investigation and he also criticized the governor for blocking an effort by Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood to become an independent city.
He promised if elected to bolster election security by creating a law enforcement division dedicated to investigating fraud as well as requiring independent audits of elections.
Mr. Perdue pledged to rid the state of voting machines used in the 2020 election that critics believed were vulnerable to hacking.