Senate

Georgia GOP candidate to quarantine days before runoff election

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) announced Thursday that he will quarantine after being exposed to someone infected with COVID-19, taking him off the campaign trail just days before his crucial Senate runoff.

Perdue’s team said in a statement that the senator was informed Thursday that he had been in contact with someone on the campaign who tested positive for the coronavirus. While Perdue and his wife tested negative for COVID-19 Thursday, they will still quarantine based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their doctor’s recommendation. 

“The Senator and his wife have been tested regularly throughout the campaign, and the team will continue to follow CDC guidelines. Further information will be provided when available,” the campaign said in a statement. 

The campaign did not say in its statement how long Perdue and his wife will be quarantining and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

The news comes a day after Perdue attended a campaign event at a brewery in Dalton, Ga. While Perdue was seen wearing a mask, many in attendance at the event were not wearing face coverings.

Perdue’s quarantine could not come at a worse time for his campaign. The Georgia senator will face voters on Tuesday in one of the Peach State’s two Senate runoffs that will determine which party controls the Senate, and he has been holding events across the state to gin up support in the leadup to Jan. 5.

Perdue is being challenged by investigative journalist Jon Ossoff, and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R), who was appointed to her seat last December, is running against the Rev. Raphael Warnock.

A spokesperson for Loeffler, who has at times held events with Perdue, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. Given the sharp political divide in the state, it’s widely believed that Perdue and Loeffler’s fates are tied together and it’s unlikely the same party won’t win both races.

Early voting ends Thursday evening, with Democrats appearing to have an edge in the massive turnout thus far and Republicans banking on their base to show up on election day to offset that gap. 

The two races have been the focus of national scrutiny and hundreds of millions of dollars of spending given their role in determining which party will control the next Senate. The GOP currently has a 50-48 edge starting next year, but Democrats would control the chamber if they win both races, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris being able to cast tie-breaking votes.

In a sign of how critical the parties view the races, Harris will campaign in Georgia on Sunday, and President-elect Joe Biden and President Trump will both rally in the state Monday, the day before the runoffs.

Updated at 3:51 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus Coronavirus disease coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 David Perdue Donald Trump Georgia Georgia runoffs Joe Biden Kelly Loeffler Senate runoffs
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