Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed former senator David A. Perdue Jr. about his campaign against Governor Brian P. Kemp in the May 24, 2022, Republican gubernatorial primary.
Perdue said he is confident in either beating Kemp in the primary or holding the governor below 50 percent, thus forcing a June 21, 2022 runoff.
One factor giving him confidence is there are 250,000 of the 500,000 early voters – who did not vote in the 2018 primary – who Perdue said are MAGA voters looking to support him: the candidate endorsed by President Donald J. Trump.
McCabe: The May 24th Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary pits Governor Brian Kemp against Trump-endorsed former Senator David Perdue.
Perdue told The Star News Network and The Georgia Star News that despite the polls, his time on the campaign trail has him convinced that if he does not beat Kemp in the primary, he can at least hold Kemp to below 50 percent and force a June 21st runoff.
Perdue: So far in early voting in this governor’s race, 500,000 people have already voted early. The interesting thing is that half of those people did not vote in 2018. We think those are conservative MAGA voters who are outraged with Brian Kemp.
McCabe: The former Reebok CEO said Monday that President Donald J. Trump joined a tele-rally for Perdue with more than 100,000 people on the conference call.
Perdue: We focused early on getting early vote out, and Trump came here at the beginning of early voting, and that’s why we have such a record turnout. I believe it’s because he came here early.
McCabe: The former senator said he is barnstorming the state and he feeds off the encouragement from the voters.
Perdue: The people who feel disenfranchised are turning out to vote. I had a little old lady – you’ll love this, Neil. She came to me last week and said, look, I voted for you in November 2020.
I didn’t come back out and vote. But she said, this time if I have to crawl across a room of broken glass, I will vote this time. I think we have that sentiment all over the state.
McCabe: Perdue said Kemp has ducked responsibility for botching the 2020 election and the 2021 Senate runoff. Yet his record shows that as Secretary of State and now as governor, he abandoned his responsibility for clean elections.
Perdue: He has never enforced voting law, but what he did in 2020 is criminal.
McCabe: It was not a matter of discretion. It was the law, he said.
Perdue: He allowed a consent decree to go through that changed and eliminated, basically, voter ID on absentee ballots. He allowed seven and a half million absentee ballots to be mailed out without any request. He allowed dropboxes to be used with no chain of custody.
And he allowed a rule change that allowed people like Zuckerberg to put $55 million of his own money into nine Democratic counties. Now, everything I just mentioned the governor allowed to happen is outside Georgia law.
McCabe: Reporting for The Star News Network and The Georgia Star News, Neil W. McCabe, Washington.