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Perdue declines to participate in debate with Ossoff ahead of Georgia Senate runoff

Sen. David PerdueDavid PerdueTrump set for precedent-breaking lame-duck period Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight House Democrat accuses Air Force of attempting to influence Georgia runoff races MORE (R-Ga.) will not participate in a debate with Jon Ossoff, his Democratic challenger in one of two Georgia Senate races headed for a runoff in January, the incumbent's campaign said.

Perdue's campaign informed the Atlanta Press Club, which was set to host a debate early next month, that the senator would not attend, according to CNN.

The Democratic challenger took aim at Perdue following news that he had declined to participate, dubbing him "David 'empty podium' Perdue."

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"The runoff in Georgia is an extension of the November 3rd general election, where 52 percent of Georgians voted against Jon Ossoff and his radical agenda. Perdue had a commanding first place win, outpacing Ossoff by over 85,000 votes — in nearly every other state, Perdue would have been re-elected already," Perdue's campaign manager told CNN in a statement.

Perdue led Ossoff by fewer than 100,000 votes following an initial tally in Georgia.

Georgia's two Senate seats could decide the balance of power in the Senate, as a 50-50 split would give the deciding vote to the incoming vice president, Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Biden can rebuild trust in our justice system by prioritizing prosecutorial reform Harris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence MORE.

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE (D) holds a narrow lead over President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE in Georgia, which is set to conduct a hand recount of presidential ballots. The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the race, although other news outlets had projected the former vice president as the victor in Georgia.  

--Updated at 9:50 a.m.