Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue, a Republican and former U.S. senator, on Jan. 20 proposed creating a law enforcement unit in the state that would be focused on election crimes.
The unit would “enforce election laws, investigate election crimes and fraud, and arrest those who commit these offenses,” Perdue, who left office in 2020 after losing to Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), said in a statement.
“This is about transparency and accountability. Georgians deserve confidence that only legal votes will be counted, and that anyone who tries to interfere with our elections will be arrested and prosecuted,” he said. “As Governor, I’ll do what [Gov.] Brian Kemp has failed to do—I’ll make Georgia elections the safest and securest in the country.”
The campaign of Kemp, a Republican who saw former President Donald Trump endorse Perdue, quickly pushed back.
“David Perdue is repeatedly lying to the people of Georgia—without facts or evidence,” Cody Hall, a spokesman for the campaign, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement. “By proposing this unit, Perdue is finally admitting what state law and the Georgia constitution have made abundantly clear: the Governor has no legal authority regarding the oversight, investigation, or administration of elections in our state.
“While Perdue was golfing for the last year, Governor Kemp was fighting the woke mob to champion the strongest election integrity law in the nation.”
Other Republican candidates also reacted, including Kandiss Taylor, who floated a similar proposal in the past after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced last year he would introduce the plan to legislators. DeSantis, a Republican, did so earlier this week.
Perdue “copied me,” Taylor told The Epoch Times in an email.
“I would like to know why David all the sudden cares so much about the elections when he has been incognito for the past 15 months after his own seat was stolen,” she wrote.
Former state Rep. Vernon Jones, another Republican challenging Kemp, said in a statement that “Brian Kemp cut and ran on election integrity in Georgia, but so did David Perdue.”
Jones believes Perdue, while a senator, should have pushed the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the deal that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Kemp made with Stacey Abrams, now a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, regarding how votes are counted in elections.
“David Perdue copied my Contract with Georgia, and now, he is copying Governor DeSantis in Florida. Perdue is a copycat and needs an original thought. Next, he will be saying he started the Waffle House,” Jones said.
The Abrams campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Primaries in the race are scheduled for May 24, while the general election is scheduled for Nov. 8.