(CNN) — Former Sen. David Perdue has decided against becoming a candidate in the 2022 Georgia US Senate race a week after filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
“After much prayer and reflection, Bonnie and I have decided that we will not enter the race for the United States Senate in Georgia in 2022,” Perdue said in an email to supporters Tuesday, adding that it’s “a personal decision, not a political one.” He did not further explain his decision.
Perdue said he will do “everything” he could to ensure that the Republican nominee for the race beats newly elected incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock.
“These two current liberal US Senators do not represent the values of a majority of Georgians,” Perdue said in his statement, referring to Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff, who defeated him and former Sen. Kelly Loeffler in the January runoff election.
A former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General, Perdue won his first Senate race in 2014 and became one of President Donald Trump’s strongest allies in Congress. He ran on delivering aid during the coronavirus pandemic, including billions for hospitals and Congress’ creation of the small business loan Paycheck Protection Program, while warning voters that Ossoff was pushing a “socialist agenda.”
But he faced intense scrutiny over his multi-million-dollar stock trades made during the pandemic. Perdue said that his advisers made the transactions and pledged that they will no longer trade in individual companies. His campaign also faced backlash after he willfully mispronounced Vice President Kamala Harris’ name at a rally and for a digital ad showing Ossoff’s nose enlarged, an anti-Semitic trope, that his campaign said was an accident and quickly removed from Facebook.