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David Perdue won’t challenge Raphael Warnock in the 2022 Georgia Senate race, after all.

Former Georgia Senator David Perdue has ruled he will not run against incumbent Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock in 2022, just a week after Mr Perdue announced he had tabled documents for a possible new campaign, and just days after a visit President Donald J. Trump.

Mr Perdue, 71, a Republican and former businessman who lost in the January runoff round to the state’s other newly elected senator Jon Ossoff, said in a statement he took the decision after “much prayer and reflection” with his wife. , Bonnie.

Mr Warnock defeated Kelly Loeffler, who was also a Republican incumbent, in January, winning a term that expires in January 2023. The two Republican losses transferred control of the Senate to the Democrats.

There were mixed signals from people close to Mr Perdue that a 2022 campaign was something he cared about compared to something some of his advisers insisted on. In one Publish Tuesday on Twitter, Mr. Perdue called it a “personal decision, not a political one.”

But the announcement came just days after Mr. Perdue made what is now becoming a ritual trip for Republicans – to former President Donald J. Trump’s private club in Florida, for dinner and a long round of golf last Friday. This raised questions among some Republicans about what Mr. Trump had told him during their time together.

The meeting did not go well, those briefed said. Mr Trump was focused on retaliation, especially against Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, and Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, a Republican whom Mr Trump considers to have betrayed him.

Two Republicans, one in Atlanta and one in Washington, have separately said that Mr. Trump spent much of his conversation with Mr. Perdue to clearly show his determination to topple the governor of Georgia next year. Trying to navigate a feud between the former president and his state’s incumbent governor for the next two years was deeply unpleasant for Mr Perdue, according to a Republican from Georgia who knows the former senator.

One of those briefed on the meeting with Mr Trump said this appeared to be a factor in Mr Perdue’s decision not to show up. But the second person said the most important factor was how potentially exhausting another campaign and possibly six more years in the Senate would be.

Now the question in Georgia is whether the 2022 race will become a 2020 rerun, when Ms Loeffler and former Rep Doug Collins clashed to run against Mr Warnock.

Yet after Ms Loeffler sprinted to the right to fend off Mr Collins, another Trump favorite, it’s unclear whether she would want to lead the same kind of primary. While Mr. Trump has publicly encouraged Mr. Collins to challenge Mr. Kemp, most Republicans in Georgia believe Mr. Collins is more inclined to run for the Senate.

Mr Perdue said he was “confident” that any candidate nominated by the Republicans would beat Mr Warnock, adding: “I will do whatever I can to make it happen.”

A message to Mr Perdue’s spokesperson was not immediately returned.

In his statement on Tuesday, Mr. Perdue echoed Mr. Trump’s false allegations of widespread electoral fraud in the state and called on Republican officials in Georgia to change state laws and electoral rules “so that ‘in the future, every legal voter is treated. and illegal votes will not be included. “

State election officials have repeatedly said the illegal vote has no impact on the outcome of the general election in November or the January run-off.

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David Perdue runs against Raphael Warnock for Georgia Senate seat

David Perdue, the U.S. senator for a Georgia term who lost a runoff last month to Sen. Jon Ossoff, filed documents Monday night indicating he was planning a comeback effort – this time against the other new senator from Georgia, Raphael Warnock.

Mr Perdue, a former businessman who first ran for office as a foreigner and then became one of former President Donald Trump’s closest allies in the Senate, has tabled documents to the Federal Election Commission to establish a “Perdue for Senate” campaign committee.

The move, first reported by Fox News, was seen as a first step in the Republican Party’s efforts to try to reclaim one of the Senate seats lost in the historic second-round election in Georgia on January 5.

Mr Warnock and Mr Ossoff prevailed in this second round – not only the first time a Democrat had won a Georgia Senate seat since 2000, but also a victory that gave Democrats control of the Senate. The two parties each have 50 seats in the chamber, with Vice President Kamala Harris voting for the tiebreaker.

Mr Perdue’s loss to Mr Ossoff followed a bitter campaign that ended with Mr Perdue being fired from the track following exposure to the coronavirus. An appearance by Mr. Trump on the eve of the state election failed to garner sufficient Republican turnout, leaving questions as to whether he was depressed by Mr. Trump’s repeated allegations of fraud during the elections. elections in this country.

Mr Ossoff received 50.6% of the vote against 49.4% for Mr Perdue, who waited two days to concede, prompting speculation he could challenge the outcome.

Mr Warnock prevailed over Senator Kelly Loeffler in their second round, from 51% to 49%. Both were running in a special election for a six-year term; the winner of the 2022 Senate race will serve a full term.

Georgia was already poised to be one of the main focal points in the 2022 election, with a hotly contested gubernatorial race that could feature a rematch between incumbent Republican Brian Kemp and his 2018 Democratic opponent , Stacey Abrams. Ms Abrams narrowly lost that race, but continued to lead a voting rights organization that was crucial to registering and mobilizing the Democrats who helped make Georgia blue for President Biden and Mr Warnock and Mr Ossoff. Ms Abrams has not announced whether she will run for governor again.

Mr Trump has already made it clear that he plans to get involved in the Georgia election in 2022: he has strongly criticized Mr Kemp, as well as the secretary of state and state lieutenant governor, for failing to not support his bogus allegations of electoral fraud in Georgia, and wants them to lose if they run for re-election.

Given Mr. Perdue’s ties to Mr. Trump, it’s possible the former president will be a campaigning presence for Mr. Perdue and against Mr. Kemp next year.

Still, it’s not entirely clear that a Republican Senate candidate should welcome future help from Mr. Trump.

Bill Crane, a Georgian political agent and commentator, said on Monday that the former president’s appearances on behalf of the two Republicans appeared to have worked against them in January – with depressed Republican participation in the two congressional districts where Mr. Trump served campaign.

Mr Crane, who has worked for Republican and Democratic candidates, said he would not be surprised if Mr Perdue ran against Mr Warnock given the tight results in his January race, adding that in order to win, Mr. Perdue should change his strategy.

“He would need to address occasionally to female, non-aligned, libertarian and more centrist voters, not just the grassroots of the Republican Party,” Crane said.

Working for Mr. Perdue is a significant war chest – about $ 5 million from his campaign remains available for a 2022 run, according to a federal election report.

Neither Mr. Warnock, who is completing a term left vacant by former Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, nor Mr. Ossoff’s offices immediately responded to messages seeking comment. Spokesmen for Mr. Perdue and the Georgia Republican Party were also not available.

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Georgia certifies Warnock and Ossoff Senate victories

ATLANTA – Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Tuesday certified the second-round electoral victories of elected Senators Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, triggering the formal legal process that will allow the two Democrats to seat and give their party control of the US Senate for the first time since 2015.

Swearing-in of Mr. Ossoff, Mr. Warnock and Alex Padilla, who will take the California Senate seat vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, will create a 50-50 tie in the Senate, giving Democrats de facto control of the chamber because the decisive vote will be taken by Mrs. Harris. She will be sworn in as vice president on Wednesday, and the three new Democratic senators are expected to be sworn in on Wednesday afternoon.

Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, who like Raffensperger is a Republican, is required by state law to sign the certification of races. Gabriel Sterling, senior official in the office of Mr. Raffensperger, Noted on Twitter last week that a Georgia state government official is then scheduled to travel to Washington to deliver the certification documents to the Secretary of the Senate.

Despite a wave of recent tragedies and unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud in Georgia, there was little doubt that Mr. Raffensperger would eventually certify the results of the January 5 competitions in which Mr. Ossoff defeated David Perdue, a Republican senator for one term, and Mr. Warnock defeated Kelly Loeffler, a Republican who was appointed to the Senate seat by Mr. Kemp in December 2019.

The margins in both races were outside the threshold of half a percentage point that allows the late candidate to require a statewide recount under Georgia law. With around 4.4 million votes cast, Mr. Ossoff won his race by around 55,000 votes, giving him a lead of 0.82%, and Mr. Warnock won by around 93,000 votes, giving him a lead of 2, 08%, according to the Secretary of State’s website.

These results contrasted with those of the November 3 presidential election, in which Mr. Biden beat Mr. Trump by a narrower margin that was well below the threshold, allowing Mr. Trump to demand a recount.

The recount in the presidential race showed that Mr. Trump had indeed lost about 12,000 votes. But that didn’t stop the president and his allies from continuing to insist vigorously on the unfounded allegation that he was the victim of a rigged election.

This false narrative, which Mr. Trump has pursued in unsuccessful court cases and in election appearances, most likely ended up helping both Democratic Senate candidates by lowering turnout in Georgia among supporters of the president who did not saw no reason to vote in an electoral system which it was constantly denigrated as untrustworthy.

The two Senate races presented rare and remarkable drama in American politics, given Mr. Trump’s recalcitation, Mr. Biden’s triumph, and the effect that Senate control would most likely have on the original political agenda of Mr. Biden. Foreign money poured into Georgia, resulting in the most expensive Senate races in US history. Mr. Trump flew to the state and organized large, well-attended rallies for Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler. But his message of support has often been overtaken by his obligation to voice grievances over his own election.

The two Democrats pledged to strengthen the affordable care law, support police reform and reform the national response to the coronavirus pandemic. Both Republicans darkly warned that Democratic victories would accelerate a dangerous national slide towards radical socialism.

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A Proud Boys supporter threatened to rape Reverend Raphael Warnock, prosecutors said.

A Queens man who told federal agents he wanted to join the far-right group Proud Boys was charged on Wednesday with a weapons offense after messages he posted on social media to the Times of the riot on Capitol Hill have sounded the alarm bells, according to prosecutors and court documents.

The man, Eduard Florea, was arrested Tuesday evening after a search of his home revealed an arsenal of more than 1,000 rifle cartridges, two dozen shotgun shells, 75 military-style combat knives, two axes and two swords, prosecutors said. No weapons were found.

The arrest of Mr Florea, a 40-year-old software engineer, came amid an escalating nationwide manhunt for those who broke into the U.S. Capitol last week in part of a violent outburst of supporters of President Trump who wanted to overturn the election results. .

Although Mr. Florea is not one of the many people prosecuted for participating in the riot, the police considered him threatening enough to arrive at his home in an armored vehicle to arrest him.

Among the comments that worried authorities and prompted the search of his home, the complaint says Mr Florea appeared to threaten Georgia Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock just before Mr Warnock was declared the winner of a Senate seat American.

At around 1 a.m. on January 6, when he posted as “LoneWolfWar” in a group discussion thread about Mr. Warnock on the Talking social media website, the complaint indicates that Mr. Florea wrote that “dead men cannot pass laws,” with added obscenity to emphasize.

Later that day, also on Speak, Mr Florea wrote that he had three “armed patriot” cars in a “trailer” bound for Washington, according to the complaint. As the Capitol Riot unfolded, he wrote that the days of peace and civility were over and that “here in New York we are rich targets.”

“I’m going to fight so help me my God,” he added.

In a remote Brooklyn federal court bail hearing, Mr Florea’s attorney pointed out that the FBI concluded that his client, despite his online bravado, no had no car and had not been to Washington.

Nonetheless, the tenor of her comments on social media was worrying enough to heighten authorities’ interest, especially when it matches her criminal status, prosecutors and the complaint say.

Mr. Florea is now accused at the federal level of being a criminal in possession of ammunition. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison, prosecutors said.

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Obama congratulates Warnock (and Abrams).

Former President Barack Obama congratulated Reverend Raphael Warnock on Wednesday for winning election as Georgia’s first black senator, presenting Mr. Warnock’s historic victory as an example of the importance of civic engagement – a a question that Mr. Obama has long defended.

“My friend John Lewis is surely smiling at his beloved Georgia this morning, as people across the state bore the witness that he and so many others have passed on to them,” Mr. Obama wrote in a statement, referring to the Democratic MP. and a civil rights activist who died in August.

The fact that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. won Georgia in November and Democrats are prepared to take both seats in the state Senate “is a testament to the power of the tireless and often unannounced work of the grassroots organization, ”Obama wrote,“ and the resilient and visionary leadership of Stacey Abrams. Ms. Abrams, a former leader of the minority in the Georgia State House, has spent 10 years working to expand the Democratic electorate.

“Democrats in Georgia and across the country should feel good today,” Mr. Obama wrote. “But the past four years have shown us that even outside of election season – and outside races that attract national attention – we must remain engaged in civic life.”

And Mr. Obama appeared to indirectly refer to Wednesday’s events in Congress, where some Republicans, under President Trump’s encouragement, objected to Mr. Biden’s certification of Electoral College victory.

“In recent years our institutions, our democracy and the truth itself have been tested extensively by those who have chosen to prioritize personal gain or political ambition over our democratic principles,” Mr. Obama. “And even a good election will not eliminate these threats.”

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A WNBA team jointly owned by Loeffler helped Warnock defeat her. What is happening now?

On Tuesday morning, Reverend Raphael Warnock made a final speech to Georgian voters with a video posted on social media that featured WNBA players campaigning on his behalf against incumbent Republican President Senator Kelly Loeffler, who also happens to be a part-owner of a franchise, the Atlanta Dream.

The players got what they wanted. Mr Warnock, a Democrat, defeated Loeffler in a result that six months ago would have been seen as an upheaval. WNBA player attention to Mr. Warnock’s campaign is widely seen to have played a part in his victory, renewing questions about how the league can move forward with an owner who is opposed by most of his players.

Over the summer, Loeffler openly criticized the league for dedicating its 2020 season to social justice, after the WNBA, drawing inspiration from players like Angel McCoughtry of the Las Vegas Aces, said her games would honor the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ms Loeffler spent much of the remainder of her Senate campaign blowing up Black Lives Matter, accusing the movement of having “anti-Semitic views” and promoting “violence and destruction across the country”. This prompted the WNBA Players Union to tweet, “ENOUGH! OUTSIDE!“WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert told ABC in July that” Kelly’s views are not consistent with those of the WNBA and its players. “

Mrs. Loeffler dug and stepped up her language. In August, led by players like Elizabeth Williams of Dream and Sue Bird of Seattle Storm, the league teams took a dramatic step forward in wearing shirts before a game that featured “Vote Warnock”. The protest raised Warnock’s profile among those who had not followed the race and sparked a flood of donations for his campaign.

Ms Loeffler said during the campaign that denouncing players against her was an example of a “culture of cancellation”.

It is not clear whether the end of the campaign and the loss of Ms Loeffler in the election will lead to changes in the dynamic between her, Dream players and the WNBA. Majority owner of the team, Mary Brock, has expressed her interest in selling her stake, but Ms Loeffler, who owns 49% of the team, said she plans to keep her franchise share. Some athletes have asked Ms Loeffler to sell, but Ms Engelbert told CNN in July that Ms Loeffler would not be required to do so.

In August, ESPN reported that former NBA player Baron Davis was part of an investment group interested in buying the Dream. NBA star LeBron James added personal plot to discussion, posting on Twitter early Wednesday: “I think I left to start an ownership group for The Dream. Whose? #BlackVotesMatter. Renee Montgomery, a Dream player who was absent last season to focus on social justice reforms, joined: “I’m ready when you are. “

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“Welcome to the new Georgia,” Warnock said after his victory.

Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, said on Wednesday his Senate victory over incumbent Republican President Kelly Loeffler was the result of a decade of hard work that saw hundreds of thousands of Georgians vote.

“Welcome to the new Georgia,” he told NPR on Wednesday morning. “He’s more diverse, more inclusive, and he easily embraces the future. And I am the product. “

Mr Warnock, 51, will become the first black senator in Georgian history and the first black Democrat to be elected to the Southern Senate.

“Georgia certainly made me proud last night,” he said. “They decided to send a child who grew up in public housing to the United States Senate to represent the concerns of ordinary people.”

Shortly before his victory was finalized early Wednesday, Mr Warnock, the pastor of the legendary Ebenezer Baptist Church, marveled at his experience compared to that of his mother, who worked in the cotton fields at adolescence.

“The other day, because this is America, the hands of the 82-year-old picking someone else’s cotton went to the polls and chose his youngest son to be a US senator,” a- he declared.

In the NPR interview, Mr Warnock rejected an attempt by President Trump and some Republicans to try to challenge the president’s loss in Georgia in November when Congress certifies the electoral college results on Wednesday. The effort should fail.

“We counted those votes three times,” said Mr Warnock, referring to Georgia’s recount in the fall. “It’s clear, when you look at swing states all over our country, Joe Biden is the president-elect. Unfortunately, there are catalysts for this nonsense in the US Senate. And that’s why people I meet all over Georgia are frustrated with politics.

Mr Warnock said that once in the Senate, he would support a $ 2,000 stimulus payment to help eligible people endure the coronavirus pandemic. “People have waited for months without getting any relief at all,” he said.

And he said he would focus on reducing “well-connected business interests in our politics”.

“If people can get their democracy back, we can get the reform we need around issues of environmental justice, around health care – around a whole host of concerns,” he said.

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Video: ‘Anything is possible,’ Warnock says after Georgia second round

TimesVideo ‘Anything is Possible,’ Warnock Says After Georgia Second Round Reverend Raphael Warnock promised Georgian voters early Wednesday that he would work on their behalf.

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Warnock defeats Loeffler in Georgia Senate race

The Republicans ad was full of ominous warnings that the country would fall into a swamp of far-left socialism if both Democrats win. At Monday’s rally, Mr. Trump warned that Democrats “will turn America into Venezuela, without jobs, without prosperity, without rights, without freedom, without a future for you and your family.”

Mr Ossoff has also taken heavy hits against Mr Perdue, calling him a ‘con artist’ over the controversial stock transactions the senator has made, while accusing him of trying to profit from the coronavirus pandemic, this which Mr. Perdue denies.

Neither party lacked the resources to make its case. These are the most expensive Senate contests in US history. Including the campaign before the second round, more than $ 469 million was spent in the Perdue-Ossoff contest, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and more than $ 362 million was spent on the Loeffler-Warnock race.

The fact that the races were competitive was a testament to the changing nature of Georgia.

Although dominated by Republicans for much of the past two decades, the state is evolving due to an influx of newcomers, immigrants, and US-born voters, chasing warm weather and opportunity. by Sun Belt. Democratic hopes were bolstered not only by Mr Biden’s victory, but by Stacey Abrams’ 2018 campaign, which ran a competitive but unsuccessful race for governor.

And the two Senate races were pushed into the second round by some of the defining forces shaping national politics.

Mr. Ossoff made his political debut in 2017 as a fresh-faced and virtually unknown candidate vying for a seat at the open house in suburban Atlanta. The special election was one of the first major referendums on Mr. Trump; Mr. Ossoff, despite his obscurity, was inundated with money from energetic Liberals across the country.

Mr. Ossoff lost the 2017 race, but he carried his experience and name recognition into the 2020 battle, where he forced Mr. Perdue to a second round.

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Warnock defeats Loeffler in the Georgia Senate race.

ATLANTA – Democrats took a big step towards taking control of the Senate on Wednesday morning as Georgian voters elected Rev. Raphael Warnock, the pastor of the legendary Ebenezer Baptist Church, in a difficult second round that was troubled by President Trump’s fake. allegations of electoral fraud in the state.

Mr Warnock’s victory over incumbent Republican President Kelly Loeffler was announced by The Associated Press early Wednesday. It represented a historic breakthrough for African Americans in politics as well as for Georgia: he became the first black Democrat elected to the Senate by the South.

In order for Democrats to take the Senate, which is crucial to enacting President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s first term program, they must also win the other Georgia Senate second round held on Tuesday. With around 98% of the votes counted in this race at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, Republican candidate David Perdue followed his Democratic rival, Jon Ossoff, by 12,806 votes.

Turnout in the overwhelmingly white rural counties where Republicans needed a good performance lagged without Mr. Trump on the ballot, and many heavily black communities in Georgia saw participation levels close to those of the presidential race in November.

Although Mr Warnock’s victory was a major gain for his party – he is the first Democrat to be elected to the Georgia Senate since 2000 – both political parties have remained on the sidelines in the unsolved Ossoff-Perdue race. and its implications for the next two years in US politics. The party that wins this race will control the Senate, with Republicans counting on Mr. Perdue to win and give them the ability to constrain Mr. Biden’s political ambitions.

Ms Loeffler had rebranded herself as a hard-line Trump loyalist to push back a challenge from the right in the first round of voting. In recent weeks, she has continued to kiss the president, even using an election-eve rally with Mr. Trump in northwest Georgia to proudly state that she would oppose certification of her loss to Mr. Biden at the Congress meeting on Wednesday.

Mr. Warnock and Mr. Ossoff functioned as a virtual package, much like the two Republicans, often appearing at events together and drafting similar posts about the dire consequences for the nation if the other side wins. Republicans used much of the run-off to focus on Mr. Warnock’s sermons, a line of attack that appeared to be mobilizing African-American voters, especially in more conservative rural Georgia where the Church is a pillar of many communities.

Mr Trump’s refusal to admit defeat also deprived Ms Loeffler of what might have been her best argument in what is still a slightly right-wing state – that she would be a check on liberal excesses in a government entirely controlled by the Democrats.

Even before the polls closed on Tuesday, senior Republican campaign officials blamed the president, noting that their ballot was a testament to the power of the “control and balance” argument that the party was unable to make. argue because of Mr. Trump’s refusal.