Sen. Perdue will not rule out fighting Georgia election he lost to Jon Ossoff

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'We will mobilize every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse to ensure all legally cast ballots are properly counted,' Perdue said in a statement on Wednesday.

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff was declared the winner Wednesday in the runoff election for the Georgia Senate seat held by former Republican Sen. David Perdue, but a statement issued by Perdue's campaign earlier that day indicated that he would continue to contest his loss.

Media outlets began to call the race for Ossoff Wednesday afternoon. Ossoff led Perdue by more than 36,000 votes as of Thursday afternoon.

Gabriel Sterling, a Republican and the chief operating officer in the office of the secretary of state in Georgia, said before the race was called that it looked likely that Ossoff would not only win the Senate seat but win it by a wide enough margin to prevent a recount from occurring.

"Senator to be, probably Ossoff," Sterling said.

Very early Wednesday morning, Perdue tweeted a statement from his campaign indicating that he had no intention of conceding the election if he lost: "As we've said repeatedly over the last several weeks and as recently as this evening, the is an exceptionally close election that will require time and transparency to be certain the results are fair and accurate and the voices of Georgians are heard. We will mobilize every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse to ensure all legally cast ballots are counted. We believe that in the end, Sen. Perdue will be victorious."

As Vox politics reporter Emily Stewart noted, the language of the Perdue campaign's statement mirrors the rhetoric used by Donald Trump in claiming the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him: "The legally cast ballots language is one that Trump and his allies have employed in order to cast doubt on outcomes they don't like — and to sow doubt among their supporters about the legitimacy of elections. The connotation is that a bunch of ballots (presumably ones not cast for Republicans) were cast illegally."

Trump, too, has been egging on those who would protest the results of the Georgia runoff, with his campaign sending out fundraising tweets falsely claiming Democrats are in the process of stealing the Georgia election and Trump himself falsely claiming that illegal "vote dumps" put Ossoff ahead of Perdue.

And it's not a stretch to think Perdue would similarly protest election results. The former senator supported Trump's earlier attempts to overthrow the election, issuing a joint statement with fellow Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler back in November demanding the resignation of Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for "too many failures" in the general election.

"The management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state," Perdue and Loeffler said then.

Perdue's campaign did not respond to a request for comment on whether he will continue to protest the election results now that the race has been called.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.