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Georgia’s Kemp and Perdue clash over elections in debate

ATLANTA (AP) – The top two Republicans running for governor in Georgia launched the first of three debates on Sunday by bickering over who was responsible for 2020 and 2021 Republican election losses, with former United States (US) Senator David Perdue pressing his attack that incumbent Governor Brian Kemp is to blame for Democratic control in Washington, while Kemp fired back that Perdue was trying to pass the blame for his own loss to Democrat Jon Ossoff.

Perdue continued to showcase support for debunked claims that Democrats fraudulently won the 2020 presidential election and the 2021 US Senate runoffs in Georgia.

“The election in 2020 was rigged and stolen,” Perdue said during a debate sponsored by Atlanta’s WSB-TV. “All the madness we see today… all that started right here in Georgia when our governor caved and allowed out radical Democrats to steal our elections.”

Kemp said he followed the law, that Perdue was lying to voters about his claim that Kemp permitted a settlement agreement over how signatures on absentee ballots were verified, and that the secretary of state and State Election Board have primary responsibility for investigating election wrongdoing.

“I was Secretary of State for eight years,” Kemp said, “and I don’t need to be lectured by someone that lost their last election about what our voting laws are and who has responsibilities for those in our state.”

Kemp was not a party to the settlement agreement, but Perdue claimed Kemp should have called a special session and asked lawmakers to reverse it.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp shakes hands with former Senator David Perdue at a Republican gubernatorial debate in Atlanta. PHOTO: AP