It’s been clear from the start that former Sen. David Perdue’s (R-GA) gubernatorial campaign would be centered on the Big Lie. And now, he’s taking notes from the best of ’em.
Perdue, who is challenging Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in the state’s GOP primary this year, announced on Thursday his plan to create an election police unit much like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) proposal if elected — a unit designed to chase after bogus claims of voter fraud and election crimes.
In Perdue’s words, the so-called “Election Law Enforcement Division in the State of Georgia” would focus on enforcing “election laws, investigating election crimes and fraud, and arresting those who commit these offenses.” It would also require that election results be “independently audited” before certification.
Perdue’s announcement, which was first shared with Fox News, follows DeSantis’ recent proposal to create a new, specialty election crimes office that would permit police to hunt down baseless election fraud cases. The Florida governor, who also faces a re-election battle this year, apparently thinks that the voter restriction package he signed into law last year isn’t enough.
The details of Desantis’ proposal are still a bit fuzzy, but there have been reports that the special unit would be called the “Office of Election Crimes and Security” and it would be staffed by over 50 employees, with a $6 million budget. It is unclear whether any Florida Republicans will get behind the plan.
Much like DeSantis, Perdue has made clear that his campaign for Georgia governor hinges on pushing the Big Lie of a “stolen” 2020 presidential election.
In his campaign announcement last month, Perdue, who was endorsed by former President Trump, painted Kemp as someone who “caved” to Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams because he didn’t follow Trump’s demands to not certify election results in Georgia.
“Think about how different it would be today if Kemp had fought Abrams first, instead of fighting Trump. Kemp caved before the election and the country is paying the price today,” Perdue said in his campaign announcement video. “It’s time for a change. If our governor was ever going to fight for us, wouldn’t he have done it already?”
Perdue has since homed in on his loyalty to the former president. Last month, the former Georgia senator told Axios that unlike Kemp, he wouldn’t have signed off on his state’s results in the 2020 election if he were governor at the time. Perdue also got behind another Big Lie lawsuit over absentee ballots in Fulton County last month, following his backing of a similar lawsuit waged by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in late 2020.