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Perdue joins lawsuit over 2020 election in Georgia

Georgia gubernatorial candidate and former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) on Friday joined a lawsuit seeking to inspect absentee ballots in the state’s most populous county, pursuing unsupported allegations that election fraud kept him and former President Trump from victory in 2020.

The lawsuit echoes claims made in earlier failed lawsuits by Trump’s supporters, who insisted that the 2020 election in Georgia had been tainted by widespread voter fraud and systemic irregularities. A judge dismissed a similar lawsuit in October after investigators said that they were unable to find any counterfeit ballots in Fulton County.

In a statement to The Associated Press released by Perdue’s lawyers, the former senator and new Republican gubernatorial candidate said that he wants to use his “position and legal standing to shine light on what I know were serious violations of Georgia law in the Fulton absentee ballot tabulation.”

“We are asking a judge to consider the evidence after our forensic examination of the absentee ballots is completed and hold those persons responsible who engaged in this wrongful conduct,” Perdue said, according to the AP. 

A spokesperson for Perdue’s campaign said that the former senator joined the existing lawsuit “to see if a candidate has legal standing to answer these questions as we get to the bottom of fraud in 2020 and make sure it never happens again.” 

“Perdue has never called to overturn an election, and this lawsuit doesn’t do that – it aims to fix problems,” the spokesperson said, adding that “when Perdue is Governor, we’re going to have the safest and securest elections in the country.” 

Perdue, who lost a Senate runoff election earlier this year after he failed to win a majority of the vote in the November 2020 election, announced this week that he would challenge Gov. Brian Kemp for the GOP gubernatorial nomination next year. 

Kemp made Trump’s enemies list last year after he refused the former president’s pleas to overturn President Biden’s win in Georgia’s presidential election.

Perdue, who has already won Trump’s endorsement, has repeatedly echoed Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and has so far built his campaign for governor around that argument. He told Axios on Wednesday that he wouldn’t have certified the results of the 2020 election if he had been governor at the time.

Kemp’s campaign blasted Perdue over the lawsuit on Friday, accusing him of political opportunism in his bid for governor.

“David Perdue is so concerned about election fraud that he waited a year to file a lawsuit that conveniently coincided with his disastrous campaign launch,” Cody Hall, Kemp’s communications director, said in a statement. 

“Keep in mind that lawsuit after lawsuit regarding the 2020 election was dismissed in part because Perdue declined to be listed as a plaintiff. Instead of hiding for months from the fight to secure the ballot box – which Governor Kemp led – maybe next time Perdue should cancel his tee time.”

The eventual winner of the GOP primary in Georgia will likely go on to face Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is so far running unopposed for her party’s gubernatorial nomination. Abrams rose to prominence during her 2018 bid for Georgia governor when she came within roughly 55,000 votes of beating Kemp.

Seth Brigman, a spokesperson for Abrams’s campaign, said in a statement that “while David Perdue conducts the conspiracy choir, Stacey will be focused on Georgians.” 

In a statement, Scott Hogan, the executive director of the Georgia Democratic Party, called Perdue’s decision to join the lawsuit “reprehensible.”

“It’s clear Perdue’s campaign is less about the real issues facing Georgians, and more about spreading debunked conspiracy theories to please Donald Trump,” Hogan said. “From David Perdue’s frivolous lawsuit to Brian Kemp’s voter suppression laws – both based on the same fabricated lies – nobody who sows distrust in our free and fair elections deserves to lead our state.”

Tags 2020 election 2022 midterm elections Brian Kemp David Perdue Donald Trump Fulton County Georgia politics Joe Biden Lawsuit Stacey Abrams

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