Sen. David Perdue Enters Quarantine Days Before Runoffs After COVID-19 Exposure

January 1, 2021 Updated: January 1, 2021

WASHINGTON—David Perdue, one of two Republican senators facing a runoff election in Georgia next week, is quarantining after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, his campaign said on Thursday.

Perdue (R-Ga.) was notified on Thursday he was in “close contact” with someone on his campaign who was infected with the virus, a campaign statement said, adding that Perdue and his wife tested negative.

The quarantine threatens to disrupt the final days of campaigning ahead of the Jan. 5 contest that will determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate.

Perdue attended a campaign event on Wednesday in Hiawassee, Georgia, where he met with supporters. In photos of the event, he and others can be seen wearing masks and standing close together.

Perdue posted a photo of himself and his wife on Twitter Thursday night and said the couple was feeling “great” and planned to ring in the new year with a lot of virtual campaigning.

“Thanks to everyone who has called, texted, and reached out,” Perdue said.

David Perdue
Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga) speaks during a campaign rally in Milton, Ga., on Dec. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

More than 2.8 million Georgians have voted so far, according to state data published on Thursday, the last day of early in-person voting. The early voting has put turnout at a record high for a Georgia runoff, exceeding the 2.1 million ballots cast in a 2008 Senate contest.

The runoffs pit Perdue and the state’s other Republican senator, Kelly Loeffler, against Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. The runoff was necessary because no candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote in the Nov. 3 election.

Perdue’s campaign did not provide details on when he came into contact with the infected person, how long his quarantine would last or how it would impact any campaign events, adding that more information would be provided later.

If Republicans win one or both Senate seats in Georgia, they will retain a slim majority in the chamber. If Democrats win both, the chamber will be split 50-50, giving the tiebreaking vote to vice presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

Early voting, both by mail and at in-person voting centers, appears high across the state, including in Republican areas.

Across more than 2,600 voting precincts, county officials have accepted roughly the same number of ballots in precincts carried by Trump in November as in those carried by Biden, state data showed.

By Jason Lange