Georgia Republican David Perdue said Tuesday he will not mount a new bid for the Senate in 2022, abruptly ending speculation he had stoked just one week earlier.
Perdue said the decision was personal, and he did not elaborate about what caused him to backtrack on a Feb. 16 statement that he was seriously considering mounting a race. The seat is held by Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who defeated Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in one of two Georgia runoffs on Jan. 5.
"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," said Perdue, who was defeated by Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff in the other Senate runoff.
Perdue filed paperwork on Feb. 15 to run. The former senator tweeted the next day that he and his wife, Bonnie, would explore their options in the next few weeks.
The victories by Ossoff and Warnock delivered effective control of the Senate to Democrats by the narrowest or margins. The races were clouded by former President Donald Trump's baseless allegations of voter fraud in Georgia.
Perdue alluded to those claims in his statement Tuesday, saying he would help state lawmakers "correct the inequities in our state laws and election rules so that, in the future, every legal voter will be treated equally and illegal votes will not be included."
Perdue's potential challenge in 2022 was expected to be against Warnock, who is serving out the term of Republican ex-Sen. Johnny Isakson. The latter resigned in 2019 for medical reasons.
On Monday, Loeffler launched a voter registration group called "Greater Georgia." She has not ruled out running for office again.
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