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2022 Midterms: David Perdue won’t run against Raphael Warnock

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On Tuesday, well over a month after losing reelection, former Georgia Sen. David Perdue (R) announced that he will not run for U.S. Senate in 2022 against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

Perdue’s announcement comes one week after he filed for another campaign with the Federal Election Commission.

“This is a personal decision, not a political one,” Perdue said in an email to supporters. “I am confident that whoever wins the Republican Primary next year will defeat the Democrat candidate in the General election for this seat, and I will do everything I can to make that happen.”

“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 continued. “This is a personal decision, not a political one. I am confident that whoever wins the Republican Primary next year will defeat the Democrat candidate in the General election for this seat, and I will do everything I can to make that happen.”

“As we saw in my race in November, Georgia is not a blue state,” he added. “The more Georgians that vote, the better Republicans do. These two current liberal US Senators do not represent the values of a majority of Georgians.”

During the 2020 election, there were two Senate races in Georgia. However, no candidate in either race was able to garner more than 50% of the vote, thus triggering runoff elections in accordance with state election rules. On January 5, Perdue and the Peach State’s other GOP incumbent senator, Kelly Loeffler, lost to Democrats Jon Ossoff and Warnock respectively.

The twin runoff races ultimately decided the fate of the Senate for the next two years, giving Democrats a de facto majority in the upper chamber after six years of Republican control. While Democrats control 50 out of the 100 seats, Vice President Kamala Harris acts as the tie-breaking vote.

Adding to the historical significance, Ossoff and Warnock’s victories marked the first time that any Democrats had won a Senate seat in Georgia in roughly two decades.

While the Perdue-Ossoff race was a regular election that would see the winner get a six-year term in the Senate, the Loeffler-Warnock one was a special election, with the winner having to run again in 2022.

Although Perdue is now out of the running, Loeffler left the door open to challenging her 2020 election rival in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution interview published Monday, saying a 2022 campaign is “certainly on the table”.

In December 2019, following former Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) resigning for health issues, Loeffler was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) to serve out Isakson’s term until the next-closest election November 2020.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Elections

BREAKING: Hunter Biden Found Guilty on All Three Felony Charges

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Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, was found guilty on all three felony charges on Tuesday. After a six-day trial, a jury concluded that the first son lied on a federal gun-purchase background-check form by falsely claiming he was not a drug addict. The jury deliberated for three hours, starting Monday afternoon following the conclusion of closing arguments.

Hunter Biden was convicted on two charges for lying about his crack-cocaine addiction on federal gun paperwork when he purchased a Colt Cobra revolver on October 12, 2018. Additionally, he was found guilty of a third charge for possessing the firearm while addicted to crack cocaine.

According to National Review, the criminal trial exposed deep rifts within the Biden family. Hunter’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, and his deceased brother Beau Biden’s widow, Hallie Biden, testified against him. This created an emotional divide within the family, especially when Naomi Biden, the eldest daughter of Buhle and Hunter, testified for the defense, pitting mother against daughter.

Federal prosecutors Derek Hines and Leo Wise led the case against Hunter Biden as part of special counsel David Weiss’s legal team. Throughout the trial, Weiss was present in the courtroom, often seen conversing and eating chocolates during breaks.

Prosecutors presented what they described as “overwhelming evidence” of Hunter Biden’s drug addiction at the time he completed the gun purchase. This evidence included witness testimony, text messages, videos, images, bank records, and excerpts from Hunter’s memoir. Key testimonies from Hallie Biden, gun salesman Gordon Cleveland, and ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan were crucial in establishing Hunter Biden’s pattern of drug use and his decision to lie about his addiction.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell argued that Hunter Biden’s behavior had improved around the time of the gun purchase, asserting that he did not “knowingly” lie on the federal paperwork. However, the testimonies of Kestan and Cleveland, along with Hunter Biden’s own admissions of drug use in texts and memoir excerpts, posed significant challenges to the defense’s narrative.

Throughout the trial, Lowell conducted extensive cross-examinations of the prosecution’s witnesses and disputed the context of the evidence presented. However, Leo Wise’s cross-examination of Naomi Biden, where he scrutinized her text messages with her father from October 2018, proved to be a pivotal moment, undermining her defense testimony.

Before the verdict, President Biden stated he would respect the jury’s decision and would not pardon his son if convicted. At the trial’s onset, President Biden issued a statement expressing pride in his son’s efforts to overcome his drug addiction.

Hunter Biden is scheduled to face another trial in September on nine federal tax charges related to his alleged failure to pay over $1.4 million in taxes over four years.

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